Superintendent’s Message

March 13, 2017

  • Welcome to our board meeting! So happy to see staff, community members, and students here interested in the work of our district. DrJanneryWeb
  • We have so many accolades and kudos to share tonight:
    • We had a very successful Winter Sports season. We have both CIF Champions and Runners-up. Here are the champs – Montgomery HS Boys Soccer – Div. II, Eastlake HS Girls Soccer – Div. I. CIF Runners-up – Montgomery HS Girls Soccer, Div. IV, Otay Ranch HS Girls Soccer Div. III, Olympian HS Boys Basketball Div. IV. Congratulations athletes and coaches!
    • We are very proud of ELH PE Teacher David Koopman for being selected as NBC 39 Inspirational Teacher of the Month!
    • Kudos to SYH for the distinction of being designated as an AVID Demonstration School!
    • Congratulations to Leo Ulloa, STEAM Coordinator, and the Quadcopter Challenge Program as the recipient of the Innovate Award by the Classroom of the Future Foundation.
    • Our Grants & Communications Office won the California School Public Relations Association’s (CalSPRA) Excellence in Communication Award of Merit for the 2016 Employee Recognition Video on Teachers and Counselors!
    • Saturday at the 18th Annual Math Field Day, ELM was crowned 2017 Champions!
    • Sweetwater Teachers of the Year have been selected: Shannon Chamberlain – CPM, Missy Lawler – SUHI, Miguel Marin – GJ, Cynthia Roncoroni – SOH, Kerry Siglin – MoM. Congratulations, thank you to all, and best to you as you prepare for the County Teacher of the Year competition!
  • I would like to address the topic of principal transfers that were announced tonight. I want to acknowledge there might be questions about the “why” and “why now.”
    • First, these actions were not a surprise to principals and many other staff. We have been discussing a longevity criteria for administrative transfers since last year. In fact, last year we made several assistant principal moves based upon this criterion. Please know these discussions and actions are intentional, purposeful and made with much thought and consideration.
    • With that in mind, we have determined it’s a positive move for the health of an organization or school to get fresh perspectives and re-energized with a new leader. Our Board of Trustees also supports this position. They believed so strongly in organizational health that they brought forward in the last election term limits for themselves and future trustees.
    • The role of a principal is very complex. The job has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Principals are now more than ever focused on student learning.  Yet, they are still responsible for their traditional administrative and building management duties. Due to this increased accountability of principals more research is being conducted to determine their impact on student outcomes. According to The Wallace Foundation (2012), their research says that principals are second only to teachers in their impact on student achievement. So, our principals are the leaders we count on to lead the effort in meeting LCAP Goal 1 – to ensure we have excellence in teaching and learning so EACH student is successful in college and career.
    • Principals are also key to creating the culture and climate referred to in LCAP Goal 2 – to create a safe and healthy learning environment for EACH student by building a culture of equity and a positive climate that promotes excellence throughout the district.
    • Additionally, one of our areas of focus as a district is leadership development at all levels of our organization. This is one of Dr. Carberry’s responsibilities. In the past year and a half, we have re-instituted our teacher induction program – where new teachers have mentors/coaches; we have a counselor on special assignment to mentor/support counselors; we have established an aspiring administrator’s academy; and, we have mentors for assistant principals. Our Title II committee noticed we didn’t have mentors/coaches for principals. As a result of the committee’s recommendation, our board approved the transfer of two principals as coaches for our principals at both the high school and middle school level.
    • What I just described begins to address the “why” of principal transfers.
    • Now, some may ask “why make these decisions now?”
    • The main reason we took these actions to the board now is to help principals and school communities make a smooth transition to their new assignments in the upcoming school year. Our plan going forward is to collaborate on how principals will meet their new staff/community, how they will have input on the hiring of new staff at their new site, and the development of the master schedule, to name a few. This will not be done in isolation; but rather, with input from the school community.
      • For example, we plan to survey each school and ask questions like – what do we do well, what can we do better, what are some things we need to address and/or re-evaluate as a school?
      • We anticipate that these collaborative efforts will get us to a very positive beginning in each school where the new principal was appointed.
    • Acknowledging that change is hard, we believe the transfers approved tonight moves us forward as a district and we hope the Sweetwater community will take the opportunity to meet and welcome their new principal.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve and support each of you!

Sincerely,
Karen Janney, Ed.D.

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