Catching a New Wave

July 24, 2008

Today is my official first day as assistant principal at Newport Elementary School.  We have much work to do.  But it is the right place, the right time, and the right team!


Balancing that Universe

July 21, 2008

Thank you, West Carteret Patriots, for allowing me to work as part of your administrative team in ’07-’08. West is a “sequoia-sized” school with a vibrant and diverse set of stakeholders. It enjoys a rich legacy in Carteret County and North Carolina. It has a soul!

My year at West was an honor, a blessing and a treasure. The 07-08 admin team was as talented and cohesive as any of which I’ve been a part. Every one of us brought different expertise and energy to the team. This resulted in some dynamic innovations that we as a total school staff of 100+ helped to bring about for our school during ’07-’08. They included the following:

  • Homework Time
  • Modified Lesson Study
  • Patriot Pride
  • Fundamentals of Coaching

And we have set some initiatives in motion for 08-09, including the following:

  • Freshmen English Redesign
  • County-wide Discipline Plan

Helping to get that English redesign off the skids was paramount. Back during my first tour of duty at West (1992-1997), I remember giving a pivotal speech that helped put us on block schedule and that reduced all classes to semesters.

Balancing that universe, this English redesign puts reading and writing back into a year-long format for all freshmen. This will benefit students in all classes where literacy is critical. Essentially, this will benefit students in all classes.

I can see the energy and enthusiasm in the English department as the teachers work this summer planning for this once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity. Their finished product will rock, I’m sure. And the school, as a whole, will benefit greatly.

I’m at Newport Elementary School now. It will be my second tour there as well. On July 21, the new admin team at NES met with the staff for the first time. As long as we can hang on to the positive flow of that assembly, we will be unstoppable.

The same will be true at West. The energy of your leadership team (Carolyn, Mike, DeeDee and Allison) and the participatory governance (SBMT) which quality WCHS leadership engenders will sustain WCHS long into the future. Loyale devoir!

So this looks like another July in which I have a different job in a very good school system. My recent employment history has me shifting around a bit. The crazy thing is I don’t plan much of this shifting. It just happens.

I’ve learned to pack lightly and that most goodbye’s are only temporary.

Godspeed, mighty and good Patriots. Until we meet again!

Joe