Why were you interested in becoming an elementary principal in the Novi Community School District?
I have been an educator in the Novi Community School District for 18 years. I LOVE being a part of the NCSD and wanted to continue my journey in education here. Through my experiences working with high school and middle age students, I saw the great impact that their elementary schools had made on them, cultivating their love for learning. As a mom, I understand that my own children spend most of their waking hours during the week in the care of their elementary staff. These experiences and perspectives have driven me to want to bring my passion and love for learning to the Village Oaks Elementary families.
What are some general goals or a vision you have for your first year in your new role?
Build relationships with the staff, students and community.
Be intentional and take the time to listen and observe.
Ensure that the students experience academic and social emotional growth
Continue to support the staff and families as they drive the learning of all students.
Ensure that VO is a welcoming, engaging and safe place to learn!
Support staff and families as they help our students to be passionate, empowered and prepared for their world and their future.
What would you like to share about your leadership style?
The first priority is always students. As a student-centered leader, my decisions and actions are always based on what is best for them. My leadership style is one that is shared, allowing all voices to be heard. However, I understand that it is my responsibility to make decisions and I am not afraid to make them where necessary. As I leader, I will model learning for both staff and students. I know I will learn from both the students and staff at Village Oaks Elementary. I have a growth mindset as a leader and I will take action to constantly improve my craft around elementary standards and best practices in elementary instruction. I am a capable, compassionate, kind and flexible leader who believes that all students can learn and grow.
What do you love about public education?
Public education focuses on equity in the quality of instruction, opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom, and the commitment to developing the whole child. In public education, all stakeholders should have a voice and students are encouraged to use their voices! Public schools set high standards for teaching and learning and ensure that the curriculum used is aligned to state standards and benchmarks. Public schools provide resources to support the whole child and have extracurricular activities to provide students additional experiences outside of the school day. I believe that every child -- regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, family structure, gender, race, etc. -- deserves the opportunity for a free quality education.
How has your journey in public education prepared you for this opportunity?
I earned my Bachelor of Arts from Wayne State University and Master of Arts from the University of Michigan, Flint. As an educator, I have 18 years of experience, with 17 years being in the Novi Community School District. I taught for nine years at Novi High School and then served eight years as Assistant Principal at Novi High School. Most recently I worked as the Assistant Principal at Novi Middle School. However, I have been taking classes and participating in experiences in order to serve you as an elementary principal for the last three years. During my time in the Novi Community School District, I have been a teacher, and Content Area Leader. I also serve as one of the District’s Restorative Practices trainers, and have been a proud member of the first Social Justice Cohort.
What should your elementary school community know about you?
I live in Brighton with my husband Jeff, my mom Sue, four amazing kids and two dogs! Carson (16) and Addison (16) (twins) attend Brighton High School. Charley (8) and Jackson (6) attend Hilton Elementary. At home, we enjoy cooking, listening to music, and swimming in our pool. I have a great passion for the arts and enjoy attending dance, theater and music performances. In my free time I love working out at the gym, spending time with my family and friends and baking.
How will you work to connect with your community?
I am eager to connect with the VO families and will provide many opportunities for these connections. Every Friday, I will send a weekly newsletter to families to convey important information and upcoming events and deadlines. I will host several parent coffees throughout the school year as a way for stakeholders to share their voice. Families will have the opportunity to connect with me at school-sponsored activities (roller skating, book fair, open house) and special community events such as the Pancake Breakfast and TasteFest. I will attend all PTO meetings and work to engage parents/guardians in committee work when appropriate. Please look on social media (twitter, instagram) to see posts about the great things that are happening in our building. Parents are always welcome to set up a meeting to meet with me or reach out via email or phone.
Share a favorite memory from your K-4 experience and why that sticks out to you.
I grew up in South Redford, Michigan and attended Jefferson Elementary. Jefferson was tucked between the rows of houses in our neighborhood, just like Village Oaks. One of my favorite memories from my elementary school experience was being in my first grade classroom led by the amazing teacher Mrs. Stough. She ensured that every student was a part of our 1st grade family and I truly believe that each and every one of us knew how much she cared for us. She instilled in me a love for learning and growing that I carry with me today. I want every student at Village Oaks to feel like they are a valuable part of the school community and find a love for learning that helps grow.