I’ve Got Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

     This is the closing day of High Schools  New Face and it is pouring rain. Thank goodness because we really need it, both for my brother in law the grape farmer and for the Allegany Reservoir/Kinzua area, where we enjoy boating (it’s my favorite place on earth). I’ve always loved the rain, there’s something really comforting about it, the sound, smell and look of it.

We started this morning with our customary “leadership” breakfast with Neil Rochelle and Bonnie Smith facilitating. This was productive and meaningful and I wish we had 2-3 hours, or half day sessions, in this strand. I particularly appreciated conversations with Garry Stone, Holland Superintendent. There’s something really powerful about meeting with leaders in other districts, hearing their ideas and experiencing validation in regard to my own ideas.

We’re now in the final session of the Personalization strand. Something Monte started yesterday has really struck home with me as I imagine what high schools should be and answers my question from the previous post where I reflected as a mom. As we examine essential questions about our own lives, compare and realize that we all have similar questions, I see a practical way to use the constructivist theory. Constructivist theory has always made sense to me but I’ve never seen this practical application before today.

So I have my own action plan as I conclude this week of learning. I’m very interested in implementing collaborative visits between our own teachers as they lead to lesson studies as they lead to grade level answers to our kids own questions.  I have a plan mapped out on paper with a two year implementation timeline. I also leave with the idea of a student cabinet to keep connected to our kids as I transition into the superintendency track.

As we get busy with the day to day management of our jobs, it’s impossible to stay focused on the big picture changes to create our dream schools. This week in Ellicottville has brought me back to that big picture and afforded me the time to revisit and refine it. As an assistant superintendent, I’ll have the charge, the time, and the focus to make big picture changes. I can’t wait.

Thank you goes out to Gail Hurst and Colleen Taggerty and the Joint Management Team for putting this together and allowing me the opportunity to work the conference. Thanks to Neil and Bonnie for leading the leaders. Thank you to Melissa, Joe and Christine for our team work in assisting Monte and Tony this week. Thanks to my four teachers, Amy, Joe, Barb and Beth for giving of your time and energy to LEARN. Thank you to every single BOCES employee for ALL of YOUR hard work to make this conference work for all of us. And of course, thanks to Monte and Tony for sharing your enthusiasm and your ideas for three days. I’m walking away better for having been here.

  1. Kimberly,
    Thank you for your many thanks. I was talking with both Neil Rochelle and Bonnie Smith also at High School’s New Face. I think it is a slightly interesting point I am trying to make. Neither Neil or Bonnie wanted or even planned on being Superintendents. As a possible future school administrator, I am not sure I really want to be a Superintendent. But I have kinda equated it to having children. Good parents question the idea of having children. I said things like, “Do I want to bring children into the world, a world with so many problems.” I guess this is how I question being a Superintendent. I think it is the people who question about being parents make the best parents. Maybe, people who question themselves about being Superintendent make the best Superintendent. Kimberly…I guess I wonder what you and others think.
    Rick Weinberg (future blogger)

  2. In my 20+ years at G-town, one of the things I have always been most proud of is that for the most part, during this time we have always been a district that cares about our kids. Under Kim’s leadership, I’ve seen that commitment grow and branch out in new directions. By being part of the team to attend HSNF, I now have a name for what it is that has been most important to me all these years. I feel that I have refined, and re-energized those skills that help me to reach out to my students, along with adding a few new skills to my list.

    I can’t wait back in September and put these skills into practice. Thank you to the JMT organizers for putting this together, Kim for including me on the team, and my teammates for their support this week.

    I would strongly urge that if any teacher or administrator in the area is reading this, and you get the opportunity to get involved for next year- do it.

  3. I concur that BOCES staff outdid themselves on HSNF this year. I also enjoyed talking with Kim as it also validated for me that others were thinking similar thoughts as I. Gowanda is in good hands wiith leaders like Chuck Rinaldi and Kim Moritz.

    I would love to see your initial two year plan if you care to share. I wish you well and know your leadship will prevail as you continue to move forward.

  4. I would like to applaud our Assistant Superintendent/High School Principal for diligently communicating the feel and content of the “New Faces” conference. My hope is that our Gowanda teachers take the time to visit her blog and review in vivid detail the work in which Kim, Amy, Barb and Beth have been involved this past week. The field is peppered with talented people. I am proud and pleased that one of the best works with us here in Gowanda. Keep up the good work team and please be prepared to share what you have learned with the rest of our colleagues on September 5th.

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