Principal Road Trip Day 11: Greenville, St. Clair

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September 28, 2018

Lincoln Heights Elementary is a rural school of 480 students located northeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan in Greenville.

Katy Beebe leads the young Yellow Jackets. Katy’s enthusiasm is readily apparent – a bubbly, positive person – her enthusiasm is infectious for staff and students. Hugs and high fives are on display while she give me a tour of her building.  Relationships are a priority!            

The students at Lincoln Heights are given a variety of learning opportunities. The students were brought to John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids (I love the photo I saw in the hallway), and they had to design enclosures – drawing on various content areas.

Katy believes in being present and active with her teachers and students. She even went as far as to put her finger in a lamprey’s mouth when students were learning about this invasive creature and how their mouths worked! Yikes!

Meet your colleague Katy Beebe and hear her share a foundational belief for her school and a need she sees for the educational community.

Visiting St. Clair

Mike Domagalski is principal at St. Clair Middle School. Walking into Mike’s office I saw this: 
a green screen? Mike was working with students taking a tech class – showing them how to create video announcements. He lit up when he discussed doing this, a reminder how important it is to stay rooted in your why – the students – and remain actively involved with them by sharing your talents to extend their learning opportunities.
Mike and his staff has been working this year at implementing and branding their school with the “Positivity Project” in building strong relationships by recognizing character strengths with others and within themselves. The staff has put up banner throughout the school – even branding the stairs that the students climb each day and above the drinking fountains. Building the culture!


The school has implemented STEM within the school with a very large classroom to accommodate the myriad projects the students are working on.
Giving back to the local community, Mike serves on the local education foundation, but he has also been instrumental in serving the Michigan Elementary/Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA). Mike, at the beginning of his career, was looking to connect with colleagues and offered to begin Thursday’s 8 p.m. weekly MEMSPAchat. It took off like wildfire and is not only attracting a following within Michigan, but well beyond the state’s borders.  
Thanks for being a servant leader to your students and the profession, Mike!
Hear Mike share St. Clair Middle School’s “Positivity Project” and his involvement with MEMSPA.

Meeting Meemic

In between school visits today, I swung by the Meemic offices to meet the staff that greatly assisted in the “Ed-Venture” tour of schools. Dr. Kaylen Tucker from NAESP joined us in Auburn Hills. We did a Facebook Live event, recording a reflection at what was seen in the schools that were visited over the last two weeks. I will never be able to convey my gratitude to Meemic for their support! YOU all are rock stars by helping to get the stories of schools out! 

Finally, on a personal note, I had the privilege of stopping by and saying thank you to the supervising teacher who took me into her first-grade classroom when I entered my student teaching experience. It was a surprise as we hadn’t seen each other in 27 years. I have always felt that it’s important to thank those who have supported us professionally and personally – we are a conglomeration of the experiences and people we meet. I feel blessed. Thank you, Betsy Gryka!

Have a great weekend, my friends! The last school visit will be on Monday! All the best!
Eric Cardwell, president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, is driving 4,500 miles through seven states during his two-week road trip. At each school, Eric will meet with the principal and learn about the great things going on at that school. Most recently, he was principal at Besser Elementary in Alpena, MI.
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