It was the Sunday evening of my 18th week of being the “new” principal at Brundrett Middle School. My husband and I had just finished dinner with our friends from Minnesota, and I was looking over my planner at the week ahead. Our first home basketball games on Monday, our first holiday band concert on Tuesday, when will every event stop being my “first” event, and when will people quit calling me the “new” principal? That’s when it hit me like a cold splash of water in the face. “You’ll stop being the “new” principal once you have completed an entire cycle of “firsts”. So the start of 2010 marks the half way point of the school year cycle. But before I tear off that last page of the 2009 calendar, I want to share a few of my most recent and favorite “firsts”.
First time an event is cancelled due to weather:
The weather was cold and wet, with ice and sleet in the forecast. The sack lunches were packed by the cafeteria team. The buses were tuned up and made ready by the maintenance crew for travel to Woodsboro. But most importantly, the 54 students were ready to compete at this year’s UIL academic meet. The excitement had been building for over eight weeks as the students prepared with nine coaches (BMS teachers) for participation in over 31 events. Then, just an hour before the bus was to leave, the event was rescheduled for the following week. With a flexible team of teachers and aides, the UIL competition happened the following week with great success. The students will be awarded their medals and ribbons on Friday, Jan. 15, at an awards ceremony/pep rally to celebrate their accomplishments.
First home athletic event:
Our first home basketball game against Falls City was changed to an away game. I don’t think anyone knew how disappointed I was, because I was so looking forward to seeing the middle school boys and girls play, and this was the first opportunity I had to do so. The anticipation would have to build another week. And the wait was well worth it. I was amazed at how full the stands were for our first home game of the season. I realized then just how important these games were for everyone in our learning community. The players who had been waiting to run up and down their home court, in front of their home fans, the cheerleaders who had been readying their uniforms and practicing their cheers. The students who serve as Marlin supporters were there to watch from the sidelines. Many of the teachers and aides who coach our students both on and off the court, as well as in and out of the classroom, were there to offer support to the teams.
First note played on the instruments:
Early in the year, the band director mentioned he would like to invite me, as the principal, to come into the band room to hear the sixth-graders play their first notes together on their instruments. It was an exciting day to be a part of, and I was reminded of this honor when the students played for the community-packed gym this month at our BMS holiday concert. I was so impressed with the composure of all of our young musicians as they performed the beautiful entertaining music for their proud families, friends and teachers attending that evening. The students, under the leadership of their band-leaders, built on that single first note to play a number of inspiring pieces that evening. I look forward to hearing their progress as they continue to develop their musical skills.
First time students shared their thoughts with the new principal:
The writing assignment was to write a letter to someone in a position to make a change. Many students decided to share with me their ideas for making improvements on the middle school campus. Each of these students described some well thought out ideas in a very respectful manner, offering their reasons for wanting the suggested changes. Many of their suggestions will be shared with the BMS Site-Based Decision Making Committee and taken into consideration as the goals for the next school year continue to be developed.
So, before the final note of Auld Lang Syne plays out this New Year’s Eve I hope all of you take the opportunity to recognize past accomplishments of the year, reflect on growth in 2009, and set meaningful goals for the year to come.
I am going to be doing the same.