The Worst Mistake I Made As Principal

Being a school principal is equally challenging and rewarding. It’s challenging because of the number of leadership and management decisions that must be made daily, shifting expectations and demands, and the relentless amount of information that is taken in and requested at such a rapid pace. These are just signs of hyper-change and the new normal.

The principalship is rewarding because of the countless opportunities to impact the lives of so many people on a daily, monthly, and annual basis. I’ve been reminded of this quite a bit the last couple of months in the form of seeing former students who share a memorable story or a kind word I may have spoken to them in passing. Or, from invitations to their graduation parties and other life moments such as weddings (Yes, I am at the stage in my life where I attend weddings of former students).

When I was a principal, I immersed myself in the work. I looked forward to attending sporting events, concerts, plays, awards ceremonies, and the like. However, when I became a father, I struggled internally with wanting to be at the multiple school events and being home with my daughter. I never really found the proper balance… What an ugly feeling.

I enjoyed preparing for parent and community events, staff meetings, and professional learning opportunities. I enjoyed discussing the work with my administrative team during our weekly team meetings, or during informal conversations throughout the day (and night). I especially enjoyed visiting classrooms and still regret not creating opportunities to get into classrooms more. It’s a demanding job and one that requires a great deal of emotional, mental, and physical stamina.

Being a principal is also a public position, and in today’s world of total transparency and desire for immediate information, nearly every decision is scrutinized, discussed, debated, and analyzed.

Professionally, my wife is also somewhat of a public figure. Over the years, she’s had several clients and coworkers who had children in the schools where I was the principal. Often times, she would be approached by a client or a coworker and asked about something that may have occurred at school or why I made a particular decision. I was always aware of this possibility and didn’t want to put her in a tough position where she had to respond to such questions. To protect her from such scrutiny, I decided that I would not talk to her about most things that happened at school. I’d either talk to a principal friend in another state, talk to my team about it, or simply not talk about it at all. My philosophy was ignorance is bliss.

For the most part, this strategy seemed to work. However, after being away from the principalship for a year and learning more about myself, I realize that the worst mistake I made as a principal is that I DIDN’T share my work with her; the good, the bad, the beautiful, or the ugly. I simply just didn’t talk about it, and I thought I was doing it to guard her against others who clambered for “insider” information, but it prevented us from connecting about an essential part of my life: my role as a principal. Since then, I’ve learned three key lessons about the importance of talking about the principalship with your spouse or significant other:

1. It creates opportunities connection. Studies show that, on average, we spend about a third of our lives at work. That’s A LOT of time creating shared experiences, celebrations, going through trials and disappointments, and making an impact. This world should be shared with your spouse or significant other.

2. It creates opportunities for compassion. The feeling of walking through a situation with someone creates closeness, understanding, and empathy.

3. It improves communication. The opportunity to share a significant part of your life without judgement, ridicule, and complaint can be comforting and is much needed. It reminds me of the video, It’s Not About the Nail. While funny, there is so much truth in the message.

I encourage you to share your work with your spouse or significant other. Be transparent about the exciting ideas or projects you’re working on, challenges you may be facing, or opportunities for growth that are on the horizon. You’ll be a better leader and spouse because of it. You need that, and they need it as well.

Feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and celebrations in the comment section. Thanks!

Be Great,

Dwight

Cope, Adjust, and Transform (#CopeAdjustTransform)

I had the pleasure of co-authoring a book with Mark White (@MarkWhite55) titled, Leading Schools in Disruptive Times: How to Survive Hyper-change. In it, Mark White and I introduce a solving framework we call, CAT: Cope, Adjust, and Transform. CAT helps school leaders to successfully deal with change in the 21st century, especially the sudden disruptive events that often are sprung on schools without warning. In the CAT framework, school leaders do the following:

1. Recognize the disruptive event and cope with it immediately. When a crisis occurs, the goal is to peacefully resolve it as quickly as possible, usually within hours or days of its inception.

2. Adjust school policies and operating procedures in the days and weeks after the incident to prevent its reoccurrence or to handle it and other disruptions more efficiently.

3. Continue to transform their philosophies and school cultures through study and reflection in the months after the incident so that their thought processes and adaptive strategies will be deepened in the future.

https://supplychainbeyond.com/disruption-or-digital-transformation/
You would be hard pressed to talk to a teacher, secretary, or school administrator who would say we are not experiencing some disruptive times in education. Since 2008, public perception of educators, in general, has been less than favorable. One might say we face one disruption after another, yet we continue to find ways to meet the needs of our students, engage parents, respond to community desires, and do what is best for all stakeholders.

We explore seven disruptions educators face today and describe how to apply the CAT framework to each one. The disruptions are as follows:

1. The emphasis on student safety, including the fear of school shootings, the laser-like focus on social/emotional development, and efforts to combat high-stress levels in today’s students and families.

2. Accelerating technology advances that change how students learn and how schools operate, including the influx of smartphones, wearable technology, and the impact of social media.

3. A system of reform efforts such as A Nation at Risk, No Child Left Behind, Common Core State Standards, and the Every Student Succeeds Act that has resulted in complex school accountability ratings that drive instruction, learning, hiring practices and budgeting.

4. The generational challenges that occur when baby boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Yers, and millennials work together in the teaching force, and the demands of Gen Z that are leading to new types of teaching methods and spaces.

5. The explosion of knowledge and getting students global ready, including the challenge of teaching global skills in a rigid, test-driven curriculum and attempting to answer the question, “What does it mean to be educated in the 21st century?”

6. Dealing with increasingly complex diversity issues, including racial tension, ethnic differences, political polarization, and LGBTQ issues.

7. The growing demand for transparency by parents who want access to school information, including 24-hour access to student grades; their need for prompt responses from educators to their questions and demands; and their constant examination of the school’s curriculum, clubs, and overall grades.

In the book, we share stories from 21st school leaders and educators who have faced one or more of these disruptions,

https://feedingmissouri.org/seeing-hope/
we highlight what they learned, and emphasize what they would do differently in the future. Through their stories, the reader can reflect on their daily work using the guided questions and CAT Framework activities at the end of each chapter.

I not only encourage you to use the CAT framework as a guide to handling disruptions at your school but to share how you are embracing these disruptions on social media by using the hashtag, #CopeAdjustTransform. We need each other, and one or the best ways to learn from shared experiences is to connect with your PLN through #CopeAdjustTransform. I look forward to celebrating with you as guide your students and staff through these disruptive times!

Be Great,

Dwight

“Why am I smart?”

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been invited to talk with our freshman Humanities classes about perspective. They are reading The Other Wes Moore for their unit on perspective and as part of the experience, the teachers invite several guest speakers to spend some time with their students.

I’ve enjoyed my conversations with our bright-eyed and eager scholars because it’s given me a chance to reflect on my life, the experiences that have shaped my perspective, and examine why I am where I am today. After sharing my perspective with two classes, which included stories about my childhood and people who have impacted my life, I thought about my mom. I sent her the following text message, “Why am I smart?”

After about 10 minutes, she responded, “Because you work hard.” I appreciate her answer, but she was wrong…

I replied, “No. I am smart because you told me I was smart. I work hard because you showed me how to work hard. I am successful because you believed I would be successful.”

My life, which includes my perspective and success, is a self-fulfilled prophecy that began when I was but a small child. My mom’s words shaped my thinking and my perspective on life. For that, I am forever grateful. Thank you, Charmel M Carter!

Be Great,

Dwight

Parting Words of Wisdom to the NAHS Class of 2016

Dwight Carter TEDxNewAlbanySeniors, for nearly every school day the last two years, we began with the daily Words of Wisdom. It’s been a pleasure to serve as your principal these last two years and to show my appreciation, I cannot let you go before you hear this all too familiar phrase one last time:

Good morning, New Albany High School Class of 2016. This is Mr. Carter with a few parting words of wisdom.

• Don’t worry so much about what could happen, who likes you or not, and what you have to do. Focus on being present in the moment.

• It is impossible to be envious and happy at the same time.

One of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.

• Remember the three H’s each time you greet others: a handshake, high five, or a hug.

• Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a “to-be” list and then become it.

• Make every effort to not talk about others behind their backs.

• Remember to think on your feet, respond and not react, and perform under pressure.

• Experience life beyond the screen of your phone, laptop, or computer.

Understand that life is not fair.

• Present yourself in appearance, word, and deed how you want others to treat you.

A person makes a name, not the name a person.

• Consistency is far greater than perfection.

• You really don’t have to post, tag, tweet, snap chat, record, ping, or Kik every aspect of your life. Make time to disconnect in order to reconnect.

With something to think about, this is Mr. Carter. Make it a great life… or not. The choice is yours.

Be Great,

Dwight

*Italicized statements taken from 8,789 Words of Wisdom by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Matthew Wawiorka

Guest Blogger: Joshua Rajakumar, Founder of the New Albany Young Business Leaders Club

Student Voice.

Increasing student voice is a key topic discussed in education circles today. From Student Government to school town hall meetings, education leaders are implementing a variety of strategies to increase student voice.

Today’s students want and need to be heard. They are inventors, innovators, creators, and thinkers. They desire different experiences from school, in their social settings, and in their future careers. They are taking steps to create ways to learn more about their passions and interests. One example of one of these students is New Albany High School junior Joshua Rajakumar, founder of the New Albany Young Business Leaders Club. Following is the New Albany Young Business Leaders Club from Joshua’s perspective:

My name is Joshua Rajakumar and I am a junior at New Albany High School. This year, I started the New Albany’s Young Business Leaders Club. We have been active for about a month now and we have had two guest speakers thus far: Mr. John Kish and Mr. Bill Ebbing. We are excited about this partnership between the New Albany Community and the High School student body.

NAYBL
What is the New Albany Young Business Leaders Club?

New Albany’s Young Business Leaders is open to all New Albany High School students – from those who have a strong interest in business related careers to those who would like to know what business is all about. We provide exposure to all areas of business related careers, leadership development, resume building, and networking opportunities. Members participate in lectures, workshops, and community projects related to the different areas of business.

We meet every 2 weeks in the Jefferson Room on either Mondays or Wednesdays (currently Wednesdays) after school from 3-4 PM.

As the Founder and President of the club, I have been fortunate to have a team to assist me – Miles Waytes as the Vice President, Brian Schnell as the Media Manager, and Sudeep Ganguly as the Secretary working alongside me in this endeavor.

We currently have 45 registered members.

Past Speakers

On February 10th, Mr. John Kish, the SVP and CIO of Safe Auto Insurance, gave a presentation. He spoke about diversifying talents to be capable of performing many jobs and duties. He also addressed three of the most important skills to be successful in the business world: technical skills, people skills, and vision. He also addressed the importance of interviews and resumes and the major things to focus on in each, as he has hired multiple people for jobs and internships in the past.

On February 24th, Mr. Bill Ebbing, the President of the New Albany Company, gave a presentation. He spoke on the importance of community, creativity and perspective. He also touched on the positives and negatives of getting a masters degree/ MBA. The biggest thing he talked about was identifying your weaknesses early, so you can build a team around it and become stronger.

On March 9th, Mr. Andrew Klinger, VP Wealth Management at the Huntington Investment Company, gave a presentation. He touched on a variety of topics, including the importance of transparency when working with a group to enhance productivity. He also stressed that you should not expect to start earning a very high base salary, and that when you enter the labor force, experience and perspective is more important than money. Because Mr. Klinger used to be a stockbroker, and is now a wealth advisor, he also spoke on some stock related topics.

One piece of advice he gave was that even though you should buy low, to never buy a stock that is falling, and wait till it bounces back up. Other than low prices, he also spoke on the importance of looking at other factors such as the quarterly earnings, new management in the company, and the products they are making. He advised that that before you buy a stock, to always give yourself three reasons why you should buy it. In addition to this, he touched upon other topics such as derivatives, compliance and regulation, and commodities.

Future Speakers

On March 30th, Becky Jenkins, CFO and Treasurer of NAPLS, will give a presentation.

On April 13th, Adam Van Treese, Campus Recruiting Manager for PricewaterhoueCoopers, will give a presentation.

From left to right the students are Brian Schnell - Media Manager, Joshua Rajakumar - Founder and President, and Miles Waytes - Vice President
From left to right the students are Brian Schnell – Media Manager, Joshua Rajakumar – Founder and President, and Miles Waytes – Vice President

Thank you,

Joshua Rajakumar

Learning Is Irregular

http://iteach-and-ilearn.blogspot.com/2013/03/school-and-life.html
http://iteach-and-ilearn.blogspot.com/2013/03/school-and-life.html
Outside of school, most people apply learning across disciplines, scenarios, and experiences. For a majority of our lives as students, we are taught in a system that creates blocks of time for learning specific content, much like the factory model of production. However, learning should be life and there is nothing linear about life.

Life is irregular—thus, learning is irregular.

We are in the midst of one of the most disruptive, yet exciting times in history: The Information Age. The rate of change has increased exponentially due to the rapid creation of new content that is produced as technology and life have become seamless. The rate of change continues to have an impact on our education system because students today, or Generation Z, have only known life with touch screen technology. Vast amounts of information is readily available to them with the touch of a button or finger swipe across a screen. They are also creating more content than any generation in history, thus they learn in some fundamentally different ways than we are used to.

The linear, factory system of education is counter to the messy, irregular, and creative learning process that our students have grown accustomed to outside of school. Following are three key points to consider as we are challenged to meet the needs of Generation Z.

1. Asynchronous technology makes learning a constant activity. With the emergence of online learning platforms and social networking, students are able to connect, communicate, and collaborate with their teachers and peers to extend learning beyond the walls of the schoolhouse and school day. Time, space, and location are now variables in the learning process whereas they used to be constants. Author Daniel Pink wrote in the Foreword to the book, The New Social Learning,
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The use of technology greatly enhances students’ power to learn on their own time, in their own space, and in much deeper ways than ever before. So, let’s embrace it!

2. We must change how we deliver content due to shorter attention spans. We have quickly become a “sound-bite” society in that we are used to chunks of information shared in a compelling manner. MultimediaGen Z takes in thousands of digital images and messages a day, so to make learning more relevant to them, we must not only incorporate all forms of multimedia, but empower students to create and integrate multimedia to demonstrate their learning. If we adopt the use of technology in the classroom, this is a natural byproduct.

3. Focus on global skills development through the content we teach. It is often said that Gen Z will change careers 10-14 times before they retire. If this is true, it is impossible to teach them all the content they will need to be prepared for life. Global SkillsWe must consider ways to develop the four key global skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking through our specific content areas. Another approach would be to create interdisciplinary courses that provide students the opportunity to apply content in meaningful ways. We should also integrate technology to help students determine what local, regional, national, and global problems they want to solve. This will, without a doubt, create the conditions for students to develop the necessary skills that transcend careers and jobs.

As we grapple with how to catch up to the changing times that occur in every industry outside of our own, we must consider the messy, irregular, and nonlinear learning process and embrace strategies that empower students to demonstrate their learning in meaningful ways.

Be Great,

Dwight


Ideas from What’s in Your Space? 5 Steps for Better Schools and Classrooms by Dwight Carter, Gary Sebach, and Mark White, to be published by Corwin Press in March 2016; available at Amazon

Week 20 at New Albany High School!

Staff News
Please keep Concord Counselor Brandy Smith in your prayers as she mourns the loss of her father. She was out all week and should return in a few days.

Students As Learners
Life Skills We often put a great deal of emphasis on preparing students for their future, which is a major part of the formal education process. At the same time, we emphasize the here and now. It is said that the best way to develop the leaders of tomorrow is to start today, which is one of the reasons why we teach. Life skill development is a constant conversation in the world of education. Policies have come and gone, and back again when it comes to the importance of these skills in curriculum. Many of us remember the days of Home Economics class. We might still have the pair of pajamas or pillow that we made, recall the meals we cooked, or the fictitious budget that we developed to learn valuable skills that we use in our daily lives.

Intervention Specialist Mike Covey is teaching his Consumer Math class using the AGS Consumer math courses because of its task breakdown of important life skills topics. The first chapter deals with Earning Money from all types of wages earned compensation programs to commissions. The students have covered all aspects of buying food, shopping for clothing which included making their own clothing, layaway programs, and charge accounts. Currently, students are working on managing a household and all that those skills entail. Mr. Covey has also covered computing down payments, paying the mortgage and budgeting utility bills. These are life skills that every student should develop over time and as students prepare for life after high school, be it career, college, or a gap year; it’s hard to argue the importance of financial literacy skills. I recently shared the image the image above with parents and staff members and asked, “Who is responsible for teaching these skills?” Responses varied, but it is obvious that we are all responsible for teaching and reinforcing these skills through our content areas and in the home.

Congratulations to the following students for having their work juried into the Scholastic Art Awards:
Julia Spector-Painting: Color Splash -Silver Key
Harper Loeb -Drawing and Illustration: Purrrsistence of Memory -Gold Key
Harper Loeb -Drawing and Illustration: Off with His Head -Silver Key
Chloe Davis-Drawing and Illustration: Llama -Silver Key
Ja-Young Kim-Painting: Folk -Silver Key
Jordyn Lambert-Drawing and Illustration: Lady Fox -Silver Key
Harper Loeb -Drawing and Illustration: Off with His Head -Silver Key
Kyley Reams-Printmaking: Caged -Silver Key
Katie Cahill -Drawing and Illustration: The Inuit Polar Bear -HM
Leigh Gabel -Drawing and Illustration: Captain Kangaroo -HM
Ja-Young Kim -Digital Art: 45.4375° N, 12.3358° E -HM
Cecilia Smoyer-Drawing and Illustration: Lana -HM

The award ceremony and reception for the 2016 Central Ohio Regional Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition is on Saturday, February 13th. Award recipients will receive an invitation to attend a reception to honor their achievements. All students who receive Gold Key, Silver Key or Honorable Mention will be listed in the exhibition program book, on the CCAD website and will receive a certificate on behalf of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Congratulations to our artists!

Athletic Update
NA LogoThe New Albany Swim and Dive Team had their final invitational warm-up before their Championship season starts in just two weeks. The Ladies finished 7th and the Gentlemen finished 9th at the prestigious Northeast Classic in Canton at the C.T. Branin Natatorium, sight of the OHSAA State Championships February 25-27.

The Dive team was led by Nikki Waters who finished 1st (475.65) and Georgina Milne (422.95) who finished 7th.

Boy swimmers making the Championship Finals were Pearson Spychalski, 4th in the 200 Free, Carson Barnes, 5th in the 100 Butterfly, and the 400 Free Relay team of Spychalski, Barnes, Harrison Jenny, and Gage Ford finishing 6th. Spychalski also set the Eagles team record in the 500 Free (4:52.60) in the consolation finals. Victor Alfonso joined those four in the consolation finals to round out a good day for the gentlemen.

The girls 200 Free Relay of Lauren Sadler, Jessica Zaper, Blake Broullire, and Olivia Neff placed 3rd in the Championship Finals. Grace Taylor, Abbie Linek, and Emili Toppari made consolation final events as well as all four girls on the 200 Free Relay team. Freshmen Kelly Shur made her presence felt in the bonus finals of the 200 Individual Medley.

The Eagles final regular season meet will be Tuesday, January 26th Tuesday against Olentangy Orange at 5:00 pm. Our senior swimmers and divers will be honored before the meet.

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, January 27th- Staff Meeting, Jefferson Room 7:15 a.m. Curriculum Extravaganza, Cafe 6:30-8:30 p.m.
State of the Eagles, Gymnasium 1:45 p.m.

Thursday, January 28th- Staff Meeting, Jefferson Room 7:15 a.m.; State of the Eagles, Gymnasium 1:45 p.m.

Article Worth Reading
Rethinking College Admissions

Be Great,

Dwight

Food for Thought
Students But Into the Teacer

Week 19 at New Albany High School!

Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy lives through us all. He led during a time of great turmoil in our country and there were significant cultural, legal, and regional barriers that prevented unity from existing in our country. As we work to overcome some challenging times in our country, let’s remember the words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Staff News
I was out of the building quite a bit last week, yet Assistant Principal Steve Gehlert and Kip Greenhill did an excellent job taking the lead. Mr. Gehlert worked with several teachers to find other classrooms to conduct class when faced with a water leak, they both met with a group of students to work through a conflict, and Mr. Gehlert attended an important meeting about the Global Scholars Program. I want to publicly thank them for their leadership!

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http://highlanderdistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/online-real-estate-classes.jpg
English teacher Ann Trotter, Physics teacher Greg Morris, and AP US Government teacher Kirk Hilbrands hosted several administrators from Worthington City School District to share their experiences with blended learning. Each presented a different delivery model for their blended learning classes, which is a unique component of differentiating how they meet the needs of students. The Worthington cohort was impressed by the variety of approaches, the focus on student learning, and what they heard from students as they shared they enjoy most about having a blended class. This form of differentiation is by no means an easy process, yet the collaborative support provided during the training has proven to be invaluable. It’s a reminder that to work in isolation is merely a choice and working together in a Professional Learning Network leads to significant learning for teachers and students.

Students As Learners
Science Olympiad Advisor Sudha Ganesan provided an update on the resent success of our Science Olympiad Team after they competed at the Kenston Science Olympiad Invitation on Saturday, January 16, 2016. She states:

“Our two high school teams were off to a great start at the Kenston Science Olympiad Invitational. I am2016 KENSTON TROPHY proud to share that our students’ hard work helped them win medals and ribbons in eight events and brought home the over-all Eighth Place Trophy! Our teams placed 11th and 37th out of 48 schools, including the top eight schools from Ohio and the top schools from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Virginia. This is an amazing start considering we played with only 14 members on our Varsity team and 10 members on the Junior Varsity team. Even as we walked out of the Kenston High School building our students were already talking about what they needed to do to make sure they come home with a team trophy at the next invitational, too.”

Congratulations to the following Science Olympiad team members:

Medal Round:
· First place gold: Wind Power – Aditya Mistry and Bhagee Ganesan
· Ribbon (4th – 8th) Round:
· Fourth place: Anatomy and Physiology – Bhagee Ganesan and Shankar Pattabhiraman
· Fifth place: Protein Modeling – Aditya Mistry, Nikhil Pramod and Shankar Pattabhiraman
· Sixth place: Bridge Building – Parker Lehmann and Jonah Callinan
· Seventh place: Wright Stuff – Gunnar Wielinski and David Tan
· Eighth place: Cell Biology – Bhagee Ganesan and Nikhil Malakalapalli
Forensics – Shota Nemoto and Olivia Samson
Air Trajectory – Gunnar Wielinski and Nikhil Malakalapalli

Rigor/Relevance Framework
Rigor/Relevance Framework
Students in our Theatre Program participated in 24 Hour Theatre over the weekend! Theatre Teacher Elliott Lemberg gave participants three themes in which they had 24 hours to prepare a performance. The themes were: appearance verses reality, change, and order and disorder. Students selected their teams and applied everything they’ve learned first semester to create a number of skits that they performed in front of a live audience. This is such a unique learning opportunity and it exemplifies our students ability to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and collaborate to solve problems!

Athletic Update
Our Girl’s Varsity Basketball Team is coming off 2 big wins last week. First,Girls Varsity BB they avenged an earlier loss to a 10-2 Mount Vernon team. Second, they upset a 12-1 Watterson team. Currently, their record is 9-5. The team is led by seniors Meche’la Cobb, Caitlin Coss & Liza Hernandez. They beat Olentangy Orange Friday night, but lost to Upper Arlington on Saturday.

Our Bowling Team is off to a great start! Coach Damian Hammond provided the following images of our bowlers in action!
Bowling 1

Bowling 2

Bowling 3
Upcoming Events
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 First day of second semester
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Department Meetings 7:15 am
Thursday, January 21, 2016 Department Meetings 7:15 am
Saturday, January 23, 2016 A Cappella Cabaret

Articles Worth Reading
Managing Stress: Creating Calm In Your Career

10 Smart Leadership Solutions for Everyday Challenges

Be Great,

Dwight

An Open Letter To My Students

“What Should We Expect of You?”

At the beginning of the school year, I shared with your families a brief list of what we expect of you. This list is essentially our core values: respect for self, respect for others, respect for the learning environment, and respect for the community.

Several months ago, we gathered in the gymnasium during Academic Coaching Time (ACT period) where you were asked an essential question: “What should we expect of you?” The reason why we asked you this question is because your voice matters. You matter, and your level of engagement is directly related to how you feel about being a New Albany High School Eagle.

Once we explained the directions, we asked you to organize yourselves into smaller groups, spread out, and sit on the gym floor to brainstorm a list of behaviors we should expect of you. The School Counselors and Administrators gathered your lists and we compiled the data, which were put into the following Wordle:
What We Expect of Students (1)

The highlighted behaviors would make any parent or educator proud. You understand how important it is to demonstrate respect towards others, our learning environment, and the community. You also stressed the importance of being on time, prepared, and open-minded. The more we all demonstrate these behaviors on a consistent basis, the better our learning environment will become.

As we near the end of the first semester and kickoff the second half of the year in less than two weeks, let’s refocus on what you said we should expect of you. Following are some specific ways you can do that:

1. Be punctual daily
2. Be prepared by completing your assignments in a quality manner
3. Throw your trash away whether you’re in the cafeteria, hallways, Jefferson Room, Library, or outside.
4. Be where you are supposed to be at all times.
5. Be nice.

You make me proud to be your principal daily and I look forward to what is in store for second semester!

Be Great,

Mr. Carter

My Choice to be G.R.E.A.T!

Make it a great year

As I embark on another year and reflect on 2015, I am reminded that I can truly only control two things: my attitude and my actions. In fact, that’s all any of us can control. To make 2016 a G.R.E.A.T year, I will be:
1. Grateful– demonstrate an attitude of gratitude for the “problemtunities” that come my way (opportunities disguised as problems), my loving family, supportive network of friends and colleagues, and God’s daily blessings.

2. Relational– Focus on the people in my life who have breathed life into me with words of encouragement, constructive criticism to help me grow, and remember that, “no significant learning occurs without significant relationships.” I can improve relationships with others by being an active listener, reserving judgement, being present, and demonstrating empathy.

3. Enthusiastic-It is often said that, “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” I firmly believe this and have seen it happen in my life and in the lives of others. I plan to begin each day enthused about the opportunity to positively change lives and impact the future of others!

4. Authentic– It takes too much energy to be someone or something that you are not, thus, I have found it so much easier to be me, the real me, in every situation. However, I am still working on growing in this area.

5. Teachable-To learn is to lead and lead is to constantly learn. The more teachable spirit I have, the better person I can become for myself, my family, friends, and my staff and students.

Be Great,

Dwight