Dear Lawton Families, Staff, and Community Members,
It is with great pride and excitement that I am writing this letter to you as the newly appointed Interim Principal at Lawton Elementary School. The opportunity to learn and lead at Lawton was an offer that I welcomed. My wife Merrill, our eighteen month old daughter Penelope and I cannot wait to become Lawton Dolphins!
I am starting my eleventh year in education, and my fundamental goal has not changed since the first day I stepped into the classroom as a teacher. I want to have a lasting positive impact on the lives of students. As teachers and building leaders we have a profound responsibility to educate children from a holistic approach including reading and writing, math and science, health and fitness, the arts, and social-emotional development. I look forward to learning from the Lawton staff and leading the educators to continue improving student learning for all students in every classroom every day. In addition, I anticipate working side by side with families and community members to provide the best elementary experience a student can have, enabling our students to leave Lawton highly prepared for middle school and beyond.
I grew up in a family of teachers, and I knew that I would eventually follow in the footsteps of my parents. My father taught at the elementary and middle school grade levels for twenty years. Furthermore, my mother just retired after thirty-nine years in education fulfilling the role of a teacher, administrator, and finally a professor. This upbringing helped me understand at an early age how important an excellent education is for students, families, and a community.
At the family and community level, it is crucial to build rich and inclusive relationships. I am currently working with our PTA president Carrie Wheeler to ensure a smooth transition and set up time for me to meet the students and families of Lawton Elementary. I look forward to my first opportunity to meet families at “Popsicles in the Park” on Monday, August 18th. The communication between families, the community, and the building principal is critical, and I will be sure to provide open lines of communication that are positive and transparent.
At the classroom level, clear learning targets and objectives are crucial in establishing a framework for successful academic programs. Students need to know what they are learning and perhaps more importantly why they are learning specific content. School leadership must establish clear learning targets and objectives by aligning them with the Common Core State Standards. Moreover, effective intervention strategies need to be in place for students who are struggling and for students who need a greater challenge. This can be done by effective use of professional development days and consistent monitoring of teaching and learning. I look forward to working with the staff to enrich instruction and learning.
I want to thank Dr. Gerrans for his leadership and dedication to Lawton Elementary. I am excited about the opportunity to serve the students, staff, and community of Lawton Elementary School. I am committed to developing positive and lasting relationships. I will work toward supporting an instructional program and school climate that continue to result in high academic achievement of all students. I look forward to working with you and the children.