Education Blackboard — March 11, 2010

SCHOOL BEAT

In three words

by BOB SIEGEL, Principal
Valley View Elementary

Most of the good things that happen at Valley View Elementary School are not my ideas! That may seem like a startling admission for a principal to make, but it’s humbly true. We are blessed to have many talented,  bright and creative staff members and parents who are always coming up with new programs and projects that make our school family even better. I’ve learned to “get out of the way” of a powerful idea and lend support!

I was approached by a Valley View parent, Michelle Corey, to consider doing a Valley View project based upon the “In Three Words” piece done frequently on the Good Morning America television show. Michelle sent me a video clip from one of the shows as a starting point. Various individuals or groups of people show three words that capture the essence of their lives in many creative ways. For example, a new mother holding her baby holds a sign: “New Baby Born!”

Michelle presented the idea to “Team Valley View” at a faculty meeting, and the project was completely embraced by our entire staff. For the past two weeks, Michelle has been filming every possible group at Valley View doing their “In Three Words” piece. The end product will be a “gift” to our departing fifth-graders and their parents, and the sale of the “In Three Words” CD to Valley View families will be a fundraiser as well.

It’s been fun watching all of the various groups at Valley View buy into the concept and develop their three words. Everyone from the classroom teachers, to our cook, to the PTO Board, to our bus drivers were involved and did an “In Three Words” taping.

In the process of preparing for their piece of the video, I have watched students spend time with their teachers discussing what three words they want to use to represent and reflect their classroom family—their “motto,” so to speak. The discussion about which three words to use has been powerful!

Some examples of the “In Three Words:”

•            bus drivers:  “Drive Precious Cargo!”

•            our secretaries Jo Beier and Wendy Carlson: “Different Every Day!”

•            a fifth-grade classroom:  “Return with Honor!”

“In Three Words”—what a simple concept, and yet profound in so many ways! I’ve always been struck by how the most powerful things in life are NOT complicated. Trying to capture what is the essence of your work—developing a philosophical statement—in just three words is extremely thought-provoking, and lends itself to defining what IS important!

So what might your three words be? I’m sure you’ve been asking yourself through the course of reading this piece what mine were—that’s simple: “Lead With Love!”

Rockford grads named to Deans Lists

Marie Elizabeth Albano of Rockford was named to the Niagara University academic Dean’s List for the fall 2009 semester. To qualify, students must attain a 3.25 academic grade-point average for the semester.

Rockford High School graduates are also among those earning a place on Alma College’s Dean’s List during the 2009 fall term. Students who achieve a 3.5 or better grade-point average during a term, while carrying a minimum of 13 credits, at least eight of which are evaluative grades, are named to the Dean’s List. Sophomores Christopher Welcher of Ada and Eric Borgeld of Belmont, and freshman Jennifer Pearson of Belmont all earned this academic honor.

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