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Interim Principal named for Jefferson Elementary and School Administration Manager Program to begin 2013-2014

Mason City School Administration Building at 15th Street and South Penn Ave., located between Roosevelt Elementary and Lincoln Intermediate schools.
Mason City School Administration Building at 15th Street and South Penn Ave., located between Roosevelt Elementary and Lincoln Intermediate schools.

From the Mason City School District –

We are continuing our restructure process in preparation for the 2013-2014 school-year and beyond. Building the district’s leadership capacity in all parts of the district is key at this juncture in our work and the future of this school district.

Interim Principal, Jefferson Elementary Announced
The Jefferson Principal position has been advertised and after a thorough review/screening of the applicants for this position, we recognized that the timing of this opening impacted our ability to hire an experienced administrator to serve in this role for our school district for the 2013-2014 school year.

After considering multiple options, we made a collaborative decision at the District level. Mike Penca, Executive Director of Learning Supports and Elementary Programs will be serving as the INTERIM Principal for Jefferson for this next school year. This Interim position will be in addition to his District duties. Mike Penca brings a depth of experience as a building level principal to the Jefferson community and we are grateful to have his expertise available to serve in this capacity.

However, in order to ensure the best support possible for the Jefferson children, families and staff and for Mike in his new District-level Leadership role, we have conducted interviews of applicants for a School Administration Manager position for this building.

As all administrators across the district have taken on more responsibilities to keep our school district moving forward for our students, an increased expectation for administrators is to re-focus and strengthen their skills as Instructional Leaders. In our effort to build capacity in our administrators as well as develop a strong support system for our schools the District will be participating in Iowa’s School Administration Manager Program beginning in 2013-2014.

Hal Minear, Assistant Superintendent will be coordinating this new program for the school district The following information is from the Policy Studies Associates, Inc for the Wallace Foundation, Executive Summary, October 2009:

The School Administration Manager (SAM) project, supported by The Wallace Foundation as part of its education initiative, focuses on changing the conditions in schools that prevent principals from devoting more time to instructional leadership. The project addresses the issue that the press of management responsibilities deprives the school of a valuable instructional-leadership resource: the principal’s time. In schools participating in the National SAM Project, principals have made a commitment to increase the amount of time they spent on tasks related to instructional leadership, and each school has hired or designated a SAM to support and assist the principal in making this change.

From its beginnings in three schools in Louisville, Kentucky, the National SAM Project focused on helping principals delegate time-consuming management responsibilities and increase their interactions about instruction with teachers, students, and decision-making groups in the building (p. 3)

WHAT IS IOWA’s SAM Program?
The School Administration Manager or SAM Program is a strategy designed to change the role of the principal from the managerial leader to the instructional leader, resulting in an increase in time spent on improving teaching and learning.

Educators acknowledge and research confirms that school administrators are second only to classroom teachers in terms of their effect on student learning. Often management duties greatly reduce the time and focus that pricnipals can devote to instruction and learning.

What do SAMs do?
• SAMs help principal/administrators use time/task data to reflect on their practice
• SAMS help principal/administrators increase the time they spend as instructional leaders
• SAMs help principal/administrators strengthen relationships with teachers, parents and students to improve teaching and learning
• SAMs help principal/administrators distribute management responsibilities and work with classified and support staff to keep routine management administration work from pulling the principal away from instructional leadership work.

We are pleased to announce that Lindsey Millsap, has been selected for the SAM position for Jefferson Elementary. Ms. Millsap holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from UNI, a Master’s degree in Special Education from Iowa State and a degree in Educational Administration from Viterbo University. She has eleven years of teaching experience in general and special education rooms at both Elementary and Middle School levels.

Previously we had selected Teresa Schlichting, MCCSD Teacher, to serve as a SAM for Hoover Elementary to support Barbara Wells, Hoover Principal, with her expanded District duties as K-6 Curriculum Director and K-12 Literacy Coordinator. Ms. Schlichting holds a Bachelors’ Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University. Ms. Schlichting has been teaching in the Mason City School District since 2004.

Kristian Einsweiler, had also been hired as a SAM for Lincoln Intermediate as Jeremy White, currently the Associate Principal at Lincoln, moves to the 7-12 campus to serve as the iJAG (Iowa’s Jobs for Americas’ Graduates) Education Specialist and At-Risk Coordinator for the District. We are excited about the addition of the iJAG program to the Mason City Schools and to North Iowa and will provide more information specifically about this program in the near future.

Mr. Einsweiler has a Masters of Education, Principalship, from the University of Northern Iowa, received a BA from Iowa State University and studied previously at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom, Hawkeye Community College and the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He has been teaching at Cedar Valley Catholic Schools – Columbus in Waterloo.

We are very excited to begin this program in the Mason City Schools and believe that it will provide more supports for students, staff and families across the district.

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