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In Through the Out Door

July 15, 2017

In through the out door

 

Growing up near Paisley Park, the kids I grew up with all had a unique familiarity with Prince. Everyone in my hometown has stories to tell about their connection to the artist formerly known as Prince. Myself included. Despite this, I never really listened to Prince’s lyrics the way I have...

Harvard…again!

Harvard…again!

January 11, 2017

I am proud to share that I have been accepted into a certificate program at Harvard. It is called the Certificate of Advanced Education Leadership. It wasn’t long ago that I attended Harvard’s Graduate School of Education’s National Institute for Urban School Leaders (see post here) and had an epic experience learning and growing my...

Lucky to be alive right now!

November 4, 2016

There have been a couple moments in my life in which I am aware that I am blessed beyond measure.

The last two weeks have been epic. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago and attend the biggest musical in forever, Hamilton, with...

Whose house?

November 4, 2016

I enjoy watching the WNBA because it is good, clean basketball. Well, normally. The 2016 championship looked more like the NBA due to the blatant fouls, traveling and poor calls by the referees. Nevertheless, I love that the WNBA is celebrating their 20th year. It reminds...

The Times They Are A-Changin’: A call for social-emotional support in our schools

March 31, 2016
The Times They Are A-Changin’: A call for social-emotional support in our schools

Lyrics written by Bob Dylan

Last summer this beautiful mural was painted by Edoardo Kobra in Minneapolis near the place my daughter studies ballet. I pass this mural somewhere between 6 and 8 times a week. It makes me think about the lyrics...

Forged Teamwork

February 7, 2016
Forged Teamwork

When I was a high schooler, the Chicago Bulls were arguably the best team in NBA history. I dreamed of what it would be like to watch a team of women dominate the game and how that would change the world. Fast forward to...

My #oneword2016: Rooted

January 9, 2016

Last year I quietly identified my #oneword as strong. I needed the word. In my life there have been times when being strong has been my “I am” and there have been times when I didn’t know how to be strong. I believe that this is true for all of us and that it may...

Uncertainty

December 6, 2015

How do you teach how to become comfortable with uncertainty?

My 11 year old daughter is a ballerina. She lives to dance and has danced at the same school since she was 3 years old. Her dance school performs a nutcracker. It is a really big deal....

My ‘yet space’ confessional

December 5, 2015

I need to confess- I have a voxer block (like writers block). I haven’t figured it out yet. I am stuck in a yet space ( I probably need to watch The Power of Yet and finish Rising Strong by Brené Brown). You know what is so interesting about confessing is that it is wholly...

Apple Watch for School Administrators: an innovative tool or simple arm candy?

August 7, 2015

I consider myself an early adopter, an innovator, a creative thinker and technology forward for anything educational. I am also married to a tech geek. If he didn’t find so much purpose in coding for education, I am sure that he would work for Apple. There are so many benefits to educators being married to...

Coding in Schools – Creating a Culture of Innovation in Education

August 2, 2015

Most of my memories from elementary school are foggy. But I vividly  remember playing word munchers on a orange screen computer in Kindergarten. It is surprising to me that 30 years later my own children talk about how they have to wait two weeks to get computer time at school but at home they can...

Top Ten Reasons Summer is Great

July 23, 2015

A friend of mine recently said that while David Letterman is no longer on t.v., the top ten list is never going away. She was SO right. I’ve been thinking about the first time I heard about the top ten list and how it was used in my church youth group by my youth pastor....

Minnetonka Summer Leadership Institute 2014- Innovation in Education

June 17, 2015

 

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to attend the Minnetonka Summer Leadership Institute on Innovation in Education. There were three keynote speakers: George Couros, Heather Staker, and Eric Sheninger. I decided to create a one page reflection from my main take-a-ways. I love dreaming...

My PLN

June 8, 2015

I am so, so, so grateful for my PLN. They are amazing thought leaders. Together we imagine and create the future of education that I so desire to see come to fruition. The community that has surrounded me virtually and physically on my journey has enriched my soul, taught me more than I could ever...

Summer Leadership

June 5, 2015

This is the time of the year that is hardest for me. The children have left for the summer and now so have the Teachers. Today I am reminded that the work I do in the summer matters. I will hang on to the notes of kind words, the bright moments of celebration and the...

The Harvard T-shirt

May 9, 2015

Almost a year ago I attended the National Institute for Urban School Leaders at Harvard University. When I had applied I thought I had enough time to save up for it because for sure it would take me a couple years to get it in. I have never been so happy to be wrong in...

Equality

April 28, 2015

Equality
by Dr. Maya Angelou

You declare you see me dimly
through a glass which will not shine,
though I stand before you boldly,
trim in rank and marking time.
You do own to hear me faintly
as a whisper out of range,
while my drums beat out the message
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and...

360 Leadership

April 21, 2015

I am a 360 leader. I value building capacity throughout the school so that children can grow, develop and contribute to our world. I visualize leadership like climbing around a spherical jungle gym- you know the one playground apparatus that every child ran for at recess time. I also loved the gigantic tractor tire that...

A case for balanced assessment

April 11, 2015

I believe that we are missing the point with regard to standardized testing. I understand that everyone has an opinion about testing and I know that there are ramifications to eliminating testing BUT we have to do better for our students.

I believe that our current system of accountability is muddled. It is muddled with too...

My day at the state capitol- lesson two

April 10, 2015

After I arrived at the state capitol and met the other participants, we were asked to think about what we wanted to talk with our legislators about- what was important to us. Honestly, I hadn’t really thought much about it because as a school administrator because I wasn’t sure if I would actually get out...

My day at the state capitol- lesson one

April 9, 2015

Two weeks ago I ventured out of my comfort zone and attended a lobby day at the state capitol. At the beginning, I didn’t really know why it was good for me to be there. I guess that I had always thought that was ‘someone else’s job’ to talk with legislators. I took the approach of...

National Foreign Language Week

March 13, 2015

This week we have celebrated National Foreign Language Week at VVMS. I am really proud of our teachers for promoting this week and global awareness. Our teachers created posters, ads for our messaging system, and a unique idea that I really loved. Our teachers gave each teacher a blank name badge on which we could write something...

What personal characteristics define an excellent administrator?

March 11, 2015

Recently I was asked What personal characteristics define an excellent administrator? My short answer: I believe an excellent administrator is a learner, enjoys children and is effective at leading adults. Additionally, being visionary, strategic and having a growth mindset as a leader is important.

In order to have a strong academic culture I think that we have...

Growth Mindset

March 10, 2015

Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindset may be the most influential work on my parenting and career to date. Last week I found myself in our Middle Level PLC meeting changing a survey scale from not true to not yet in my mind. I did it without intentionality, it has just become part of who...

What would “good education” look like to this MN principal?

January 16, 2015

Last week, Gov. Dayton announced his plans to regain “our state’s position as a national and global leader in educational excellence” because “a good education is the key to our success.” As a lifelong educator and current school principal, I believe the following five big ideas...

The what, how & why of leading learning

December 12, 2014

This post is my first post as a blogging fellow for MinnCan.  I am excited and hopeful to share and contribute positively to the education world through this opportunity.  This original blog, and others, can be found here: MinnCan Blog

 

Author Simon Sinek writes that every organization on the planet “always functions on three levels....

My Most Important Question:

September 29, 2014

On Friday I sent all of the students at Valley View Middle School a google form with one important question: What do you love about Valley View Middle School?  Not only was I curious about their responses, I also want to use them in a promotional flyer for our upcoming first annual VVMS Showcase.  I...

Here Today

August 6, 2014

Today I am grateful to be getting back into the swing of a new school year and to my blog.  I know that 2014-15 is going to be an awesome year.  I am looking forward to sharing the good news of my school, my profession and my leadership.  I am reminded that:

All I know for...

#LoveMySchoolDay

April 11, 2014

I absolutely love the profession of teaching.  I love learning. I love working with students and adults who are dedicated to the students they serve. At Valley View Middle School, we have awesome teachers! This quote from Sir Ken Robinson speaks volumes:

#dayofpink

#dayofpink

April 9, 2014

 

Valley View Middle School is proud to celebrate the International Day of Pink today!  It is wonderful to see all the students and staff wearing pink, talking about diversity and anti-bullying.

From the DayofPink website: www.dayofpink.org

DayofPink is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia and Transphobia in schools...

National Institute for Urban School Leaders

National Institute for Urban School Leaders

March 26, 2014

I am so thrilled that I was accepted into the National Institute for Urban School Leaders for this summer.  I believe that this opportunity will allow me to serve students and schools with even more skill and experience.  I have always desired to travel to Boston...

PBIS @ VVMS

March 14, 2014

I have worked in high-poverty, diverse schools my entire career.  While in High School, I enjoyed tutoring elementary students in south Minneapolis at Hoops and Homework which grew into a job with Educational Talent Search during college at Humboldt Junior/Senior High School.  I was fortunate to student teach at Como Park High School in Saint...

Spread the Word to End the Word

Spread the Word to End the Word

March 5, 2014

Words are powerful.  One of my first blog posts was about the r-word and its impact on my life.  I urge you to go to www.r-word.org today and spread the word to eliminate the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote...

If these walls could speak…

March 4, 2014

I believe that the physical space of a school speaks volumes about the mission, vision, and values of a school.  It is often overlooked but it sets the tone and climate of a school in powerful ways.  I was inspired by a session at #nassp14 in which the principal showed pictures of his 21st century...

“These are some of the best test scores I’ve ever seen. Not just in Bloomington, but anywhere.” Dr. Dave Heistad

“These are some of the best test scores I’ve ever seen. Not just in Bloomington, but anywhere.” Dr. Dave Heistad

February 21, 2014

“These are some of the best test scores I’ve ever seen. Not just in Bloomington, but anywhere.” Dr. Dave Heistad 

I am very proud of our teachers and students.  They work very hard.  Having been the testing coordinator at our middle school over the past 3 years, I can honestly declare that our kids have...

February is “I Love to Read” month at VVMS

February 12, 2014

There are many strategies that our reading teachers have utilized to create a strong reading culture at our middle school.  One strategy has been to have teachers post this poster and then update it with the book(s) they are currently reading and have read this...

#NASSP14 Ignite

February 8, 2014

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in NASSP ’14 in Dallas over the last few days.  The conference was inspiring to me because it was the first time I have seen, heard and interacted with so many other principals.  As I reflect on my experience I notice that the sessions I...

Word of day: Percieve

Word of day: Percieve

January 15, 2014

I learned from an early age that words are very powerful.  So the word of the day for me is perceive.  Since I am bilingual I am always very curious about how words work in other languages and I find it very interesting to...

Who I am… Who are you?

January 10, 2014

This is the title of a talk I gave to our AVID 7 and 8 students today.  Not all of them were there as there was a rehearsal for the upcoming choir concert so I thought I would try to re-create the message here and maybe they might see it.

Who I am… Who are you?...

Learning Targets

December 4, 2013

At the beginning of the school year our school engaged in staff development centered on learning targets.  Our goal was to move our people forward in their understanding and utilization of learning targets as they align with assessments.  This was particularly important as many of our dyad teams had a new member and/or...

Standards Based Grading Journey

November 27, 2013

Two and a half years ago I began participating in a district committee called Effective Feedback and Grading in which we looked at the work of Thomas Guskey, Ken O’Connor, Douglas Reeves.  We also studied the systems changes that local school districts had made and were in the midst of making.  Today culminates a major...

The “R-word”

November 21, 2013

Today I had the pleasure of watching Baruti Kafele’s video series “Message to Your Son: You Are Not the N-Word.”  I have discussed this message with students in the past and when I have the need to have this conversation in the future I will show this video so that the children can see a...

PBIS Impact Challenge

November 20, 2013

At Valley View this year our PBIS team has promoted monthly staff challenges to connect with our students called the Impact Challenge.  The goal is to impact students lives by doing simple yet powerful actions to show them that we care.

In August we wrote post-cards to each student in the building welcoming them to a...

Tips from my New Teachers!

November 14, 2013

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with our new teachers for our monthly meeting. We have 8 new to our building teachers this year and they are awesome!  Our topic today was classroom management and student engagement.  We previewed the following resources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/29/five-key-strategies-to-getkeep-kids-engaged-at-school/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/233131718183922491/

https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/new-teacher-classroom-management

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LWOHVzY9m8

Then they created a list of tips that they...

Be the Change: Coding Club

November 6, 2013

I am super excited to share that we are having our first ever coding club meeting today at our middle school!  On the VVMS news today we showed this video Anybody Can Learn- 60 sec teaser and our math teachers showed this one to encourage students to consider coming to our after school club What...

#vvmslearns

October 30, 2013

So I started on a personal professional development journey last spring when I began learning about twitter.  My 17 year old niece was on twitter a lot and I figured that I should check it out- you know to stay in the loop.  She also got me started on pinterest and instagram which are fun...


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