Educational leaders reconnect with colleagues, focus on Providing A World-Class Education for students
Posted on 08/10/2018
Picture of administrators and staff of Saunders Middle SchoolPWCS administrators and teacher teams from every school came together on August 9 for the annual Equity and Excellence in Education (EEE) conference at Colgan High School. The EEE conference focuses on energizing, teaching, and motivating staff in preparation for the new school year.

A PWCS graduate and two current students were part of the program. Sasan Faraj, student representative to the School Board, and Lyndsie Cruz, Freedom High School student, introduced a video message from School Board Interim Chairman At-Large Babur B. Lateef, M.D., and Steven Sengstack, executive director of Apple Federal Credit Union Foundation, respectively.

Kirstin Martin, former student of PACE West, gave a spoken word performance of her poem, “Why Not,” which was followed by a standing ovation from the audience of 1,200.

This year’s theme, “Building Bridges to World-Class,” is a continuation of the professional learning journey that began at last year’s EEE conference. “We were challenged to reflect and ask ourselves if our words and actions were truly building a bridge for our colleagues, our families, our students, and our community members,” said Rita Goss, associate superintendent for Student Learning and Accountability.

“Our call to action this year is to take our bridge building to the next level by creating amazing world-class experiences for all—experiences and moments that leave every student, every employee, every customer, every colleague, and every stakeholder feeling important, positive, understood, heard, cared for, inspired, and empowered,” Goss said.

In his remarks, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Walts expressed his gratitude for how administrators and teachers in PWCS schools nurture talent and inspire the curiosity of their students.

“You should be so proud of the profession you have chosen. It’s a game changer, and a life changer,” Dr. Walts said. “We can’t do this without you. I appreciate what you do every day.”

“I always look forward to EEE,” said Skyles Calhoun, principal of Lake Ridge Middle School. “It is the event that gets me excited for the start of another school year and a new beginning. Dr. Walts was nothing less than amazing,” he said.

Keynote speaker Kim Lear shared research and insight on connecting with every generation, from students and colleagues to stakeholders; demographic shifts; and cultural evolution. Each generation has traits that influence how they receive and give information, interact with others, and build relationships. Lear, the founder of Inlay Insights, has keynoted for some of the most renowned companies in the world.

Bel Air Elementary Principal Antoinette McDonald posted on Facebook: “Kim Lear’s presentation on building relationships across generational lines is so imperative to our current reality!” Jay Vaughan, assistant principal of Dale City Elementary School, shared what many others thought, that Lear’s insights were “amazing, engaging, and thought-provoking.”

Bennett Elementary Assistant Principal Karen Haddock described the conference as outstanding. “The opportunity to learn from and share ideas with colleagues was invaluable. PWCS is obviously serious about quality professional development.”

Donna Eagle, director of Human Resources, was inspired by Lear’s presentation.

“It informed the way I will think about the recruitment and retention of our new teachers and staff,” Eagle said. “As leaders, there is much we can do to develop a successful culture that celebrates a multi-generational environment in our buildings where every employee feels valued and respected.”