At Deer Park Elementary, Robin Nalley told SurfKY News she planned to start her day today by joining new assistant principal Kristin Atnell and a few of the teachers by waving to buses as they carried students to the school. She said she wants students to be as excited about the first day of school as they are the last day.
Nalley, who has worked at the school since it first opened about 17 years ago, said her new role as principal of the facility is a beginning, not an end goal.
“It’s the beginning to a whole new phase in my career,” she said. “Everything else has prepared me for this.”
Nalley started at Deer Park as a fifth grade teacher, and eventually transitioned to the role of curriculum specialist before becoming the assistant principal.
She said as principal, she plans to build on the successes of the school and work on improving areas that are not up to par. Test scores, of course, is an area of concern for any school.
“I’d like for us to dig our feet in the sand a little deeper,” Nalley said. “We need to strengthen academic scores, and I’d like to see more parent involvement.”
Some of the steps Nalley hopes to implement to help reach those goals include developing “co-teaching models” that encourage teachers to work together more closely in the classroom, and to create family events such as a family competition spelling bee or “Jeopardy” contest.
Nalley said her number one personal goal as principal is to develop a strong rapport with other leaders, parents and the community.
Caleb York stepped into the role of principal at Audubon Elementary this year. York, who has served as interim principal in the past, said becoming a principal has been a goal of his ever since he had the opportunity to be a mentor and tutor to other children within the school system.On the north side of town,
“The thing I found most exciting was working with a kid that wasn’t in my class,” York said when asked what led him to set that goal of seeking an administrative role. “I want to make a connection with everyone.”
He said his expectations for the school under his leadership will be based on feedback and input from the teachers in the school, many whom he met with prior to the start of school in one-on-one and group conferences. One of the main objectives is to develop what he called “technology rich” opportunities for students in the upper grade levels.
“I want to see them using devices in unique ways,” he said, adding that he plans to create “Innovation Stations” for students to develop technological skills.
Photo provided by Daviess County Public Schools
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