Mission Bay High, San Diego, California
Bachelor of Science in History/Education, Northern Arizona University
Master of Science in Special Education, St. Cloud State University
Administration Licensure, St. Mary's University
Greetings, Park Brook Families,
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. After 50 years, while there are changes in our country, his dreams have not been realized.
On Monday, January 15 school will not be in session in honor of his birthday, however, I truly wonder how many actually stop to think about why we have the day off from school. Is it, unfortunately, just a day to have off of school or work? When I think of honor, I think of giving credit to him for his ideals and dreams, keeping his dream alive in our daily lives, and so on. I do not believe that he lived and ultimately died so that we could have a national holiday, but rather, he lived with the longing to see all members of our community enjoy and participate in opportunities in our community and country.
Here at Park Brook I am blessed to work with students who represent cultures from around the world, representing students of all colors. My passion is to have my students have access to all opportunities, and to be able to live out their dreams. I deeply desire that their skin color not be a road block in any way, but that in our country, they would live out their dreams.
I feel so fortunate to have community organizations come alongside us to work with us in our endeavors. In a sense, I see myself as a facilitator of offering and encouraging opportunities for our students. For example, we have the opportunity to have students participate in the Loppet Foundation events (cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, mountain biking, and canoeing) throughout the year. I do not have the notion that all of our students will want to participate in these events throughout their lives, but some hopefully will. We also have the opportunity to have students participate in running events with Twin Cities in Motion. There are some students who will want to enter into running events throughout their lives, and others who simply try these events. While I believe fitness is essential, I also believe that creating opportunities for all of my students to have access to events in our community is vitally important for the students as individuals, closing the achievement gap, the opportunity gap, and creating a community where all people of all races are included.
Our Focus on Fitness is designed to create a school with high academic growth and positive behaviors. The research is clear that increasing movement and fitness increases academic growth and positive behaviors. I decided to take Park Brook Elementary in this direction based upon my desire to see all of my students, of all races, achieve and be prepared to achieve their ever-changing dreams
While I have discussed our fitness opportunities above and believe fitness is important, the purpose stretches beyond fitness in and of itself. The fitness prepares all of us physically to increase learning, increase focus, and can be a means to increase connections to the community.
In addition to our fitness, we have woodworking and choir, to name a couple of specific opportunities, as I want students to have a well-rounded education.
Fun is important to me. While not everything we do in school will be fun, I want kids to come to school and truly have a good time. I believe that a fun environment creates a culture for learning. Learning can be, and should be fun. I will also say that there will be subjects that are more of a challenge for some, and not as enjoyable for some. I have not discussed our academic growth, specifically reading and math, and I want our growth to be some of the highest in the district.
I am horrified by the academic achievement gap. I can talk about the academic achievement gap, worry about it, and the reality is that it will not change unless I do something about it. For too long I believe we have created schools, and perhaps with good intentions, that have focused strictly on reading and math and ultimately caused schools to be unpleasant places for a number of students, especially our students of color. One of my goals is to create a learning environment that truly causes students to enjoy being in school.
This brings me back to honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. As I mentioned, I truly enjoy being at Park Brook Elementary. I welcome conversations about race and how we can continue to transform Park Brook to be a school where we live out Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream.
As I mentioned, I find myself to be a facilitator of opportunities for my students. Mr. Paul Strand, woodworking teacher, presented the idea to me and I have helped facilitate the woodworking classes opportunity for students. Mrs. Sheryl Ebert, former music teacher, brought forth the idea of an after school choir, which meets every Thursday after school. I anticipate that our school will continue to evolve over the years, with ever-changing opportunities for our students.
As I reflect upon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream, I first have to look to myself and not just my desires and words, but my actions.
Serving the Precious Students of Park Brook,
Math: Percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth in math on the MAP compared to other schools in the Osseo Area Schools:
*6th highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their goal of all schools,
*Highest percentage when looking at only Title I Schools,
*3rd grade had the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their goal,
*Black students had the 2nd highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their goal,
*Hispanic students had the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*EL students had the second highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*Special education students had the 3rd highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*Students qualifying for free/reduced lunches had the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth.
Reading: Percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth in reading on the MAP compared to other schools in the Osseo Area Schools:
*Tied for 6th highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth; highest percentage when looking only at Title I Schools,
*5th grade tied for 2nd highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*Black students had the 2nd highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth,
*Students qualifying for free/reduced lunches tied for the highest growth with another school,
*Tied for fifth-highest percentile change.
During the 2015-2016 school year, according to the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and the data from the Minnesota Department of Education:
*Out of 25 schools in the Osseo Area Schools, Park Brook ranked 22 out of the 25 for academic growth rate. (1 being the lowest growth, and 25 being the highest growth),
*Out of 25 schools in the Osseo Area Schools, Park Brook had the highest growth rate for closing the academic achievement gap,
*86% of Park Brook Elementary students ranked in the high growth rate in math,
*83% of Park Brook Elementary students ranked in the high growth rate in reading.
During the 2014-2015 school year, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth at Park Brook compared to the other 17 elementary schools in the Osseo Area Schools:
#1 in reading for EL students in schools that have EL programs, 3rd and 6th grades;
#2 in reading for all students;
#2 in math for students beginning in lowest quartile;
#3 in math for Black students;
#3 in reading for students beginning in highest quartile;
#4 in math for 3rd grade;
#5 in math for all students.
During the 2013-2014 school year, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding their expected growth at Park Brook compared to the other 17 elementary schools in the Osseo Area Schools:
#1 in reading for EL students in schools that have EL programs;
#2 in reading for all students, Hispanic students, and grades 4 and 5;
#2 in math for grade 3;
#3 in reading for grade 3;
#4 in math for Hispanic and White students.
Among all elementary schools in the district, Park Brook ranked among the highest in the percent of students who met academic growth goals in 2012-2013:
#1 in reading and #1 in math (grade 5);
#1 in reading and #2 in math (grade 6);
#2 in reading (all students);
#2 in reading (special education students);
#3 in math (all students).
During the 2011-12 school year, Park Brook posted the highest academic growth rate in reading for English Language Learners, sixth-graders, and students receiving free or reduced lunches.