February 2017 Blog Post
Welcome! Here embarks a brand-new endeavor for me through the newly-updated Prairie Hill website. I hope this forum becomes a conversation between the Prairie Hill community and me. I welcome feedback at every turn to bring about greater discussion about where Prairie Hill came from, where it is now, and where it can go in the future.
For six years, I have had the remarkable fortune of leading Prairie Hill School, a school with a long and storied history. During that time, I have worked with nearly 1,000 different students, watched a Pre-K program launch and flourish, and witnessed a realignment in the conversation on student growth. I don’t think we’re at the mountaintop yet, though. I think there’s still an awesome amount of growth still to come.
Take my word as a parent or as a principal, this is where you want your child. The teaching in this building is second-to-none. That teaching happens in the classroom, yes, but it happens in the halls, it happens with peers, it happens in this community.
When I have the pleasure of showing new students around the school, I often give them a pop-quiz. I tell them, as we’re walking around, to find an adult in the building who isn’t smiling. These visits are unannounced, so they don’t come with any coaching, yet few students are able to succeed on their first task. For many, it’s the only time in this building they’ll experience defeat. Instead, there is no place better to come in as a new student. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was showing a new first-grader around. As we left each of the first grade classrooms, chants began from the rooms. You could hear it as I returned the girl to her mom echoing down the hall. From three separate rooms came the chants. Clear as day, you could hear the classes cheering, “We want her! We want her!” That student, who at first seemed so shy, beamed about coming to school the next day. She was wanted. She’d found her new home.
When you think of Prairie Hill, what do you think of? Where do you see the district going in the future? As I’ve heard so often, there is no Prairie Hill town. This building (and Willowbrook) is the focal point of this district. We want to continue to be a place the district is proud of and I welcome this forum as a place to facilitate that conversation.