Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ACE Blends Best of New and Old

So far, my tour has been a blend of reconnecting with long-time colleagues and meeting new staff, parents, and students. Nowhere have I been as aware of this as I was yesterday at ACE high school on the Tyee Educational Complex.

ACE is the first school I have visited with a new principal. Janae Landis joins Highline from Kent School District, where she served as assistant principal at Kentridge and Kentlake High Schools. Previously, Ms. Landis was director of a math and science center at WSU Tri-Cities. With two degrees from WSU as well, I'm guessing she wears crimson and gray on Apple Cup weekend, but I'll forgive her. ;-)

With new ACE principal Janae Landis

I can relate to Ms. Landis' experience as a new principal on the Tyee campus. My first administrative position was at Tyee in 1997 as a very green 27 year old assistant principal. It was my favorite job, an action packed three years with the Tyee students and supportive peers, but I was learning so much every day, it was like "drinking from a fire hose," as they say. Fortunately, I can tell you that Ms. Landis is much better prepared than I was back then.

Bethany Plett's students use on-line language resources

As I toured the ACE campus, I enjoyed seeing many old friends, some of whom were there when I worked there and some who participated in the transformation of Tyee into three small schools. There were fond memories of taking a class in American Sign Language from Joani Bishop and office manager Gail Korakis keeping me on my toes. I also remember being there when many of the current teachers were dreaming of creating a school with higher achievement and college going rates by all students, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. In fact, historically ACE has had as strong of a college promoting culture as any school in Highline.

With Chung Yee, long-time campus security staff to the Tyee Educational Complex
For my visit yesterday, I asked to meet some of the new teachers, and what a spirited bunch. Patricia Larson chose to teach math at ACE after 11 years teaching on the eastside of Lake Washington. Steve McCord is a second career teacher who starts his science teaching assignment with valuable life and professional experience. Daniel Guy and John Roberts were busy at a white board matching special education students with apprpriate instruction when I interrupted their planning. And I met Araceli Caldera in the main office, the kind of enthusiastic and hospitable office staff member who I'd imagine connects well with students and their parents. The only regret I have from my visit to ACE was not taking notes. So many great new folks to meet and names to learn!

ACE has a lot of work to do this year to build on their continued quest to prepared all students for college. I'm just thrilled that they have such a mix of committed veterans and newcomers to take the school to the next level.

No comments:

Post a Comment