September 18, 2018
Greetings from Indiana!
The day started early with a visit to Huntington’s Crestview Middle School principal, Chuck Werth.
Immediately apparent is his enthusiasm for the sixth-eighth-graders in his building – as he holds a high presence in the hallway during passing time: speaking with students, giving fist bumps and making connections that are so critical for students.
There are many great activities at Crestview, including the student-run “Cougar Café,” a STEAM room and a news recording studio that creates a weekly program for students and staff.
On to Bunker Hill
A little further down the road is rural Maconaquah Elementary School (Maconaquah School Corporation) led by principal Kelly Staggs McPike. Kelly’s school has experienced transition with the closure of an Air Force base many years ago that had a profound impact upon her district.
Maconaquah’s poverty level has almost doubled, yet the staff presses forward to offer the students a first class education – sporting 1:1 technology and the introduction of a STEM room that is staffed four days a week by a certified teacher.
Last Stop, Indianapolis
Can you imagine having 71 different languages spoken in your school district? Perry Township Schools has exactly that!
A quintessential American melting pot, students in the district come from 63 different countries! In 1998, there were 18 ELL students – that number grew to 4,968 in 2017. More than 3,200 of the district’s 16,608 students are refugees.
Principal Andrea Korreck of Clinton Young Elementary notes the need for additional funding is critical to offer additional support for the students to assist in the acclimation to their new country.
A sense of community is immediately evident when you enter the lobby with Clinton Young’s “I Am A Wonder Because …” board was filled with many student thoughts.
It was an amazing day, and I appreciate the time that Mr. Werth, Mrs. Staggs McPike and Mrs. Korreck spent sharing the successes and challenges of their schools!
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.