Guest Blogs

The Benefits of Association Involvement for School Leaders

Guest post by Cameron Soester

Four years ago, I became the assistant principal at Milford Junior/Senior High School. It was September, and the principal in my building, Brandon Mowinkel, invited me to attend the Region 1 meeting of the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals (NSASSP). I was unsure exactly what I was getting into, why I was going, and what I was going to do at this meeting, but as it turns out, getting involved in my region has opened many doors for me. (more…)

Finishing Strong

Guest post by Duane Kline

I’m writing on a cross-country flight from Kentucky to San Francisco with my wife and daughter. It turns out that my 22 years of parenting have brought us to the point where (a) my daughter has her own interests and a career and (b) she feels the need to “see the world.” So, she’s preparing to move to Northern California.  (more…)

The Most Important Thing a Principal Can Do

Guest post by Dennis Barger

What makes you good at what you do? I was recently asked this question in an interview, and it gave me pause to think about how it is that I have come to experience success as a principal. Everyone I know, from students and parents to friends and family, all have strengths, but what are mine as a school principal? Why is my school successful?

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In Their Words: Reflections on the State Summit Experience

This academic year, students found their voice and discovered a new means of empowerment, thanks to the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society State Summit experience. Five locations hosted the State Summit in 2016–17: southern California, Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas, and New Mexico. This innovative leadership development experience will be coming to more locations in 2017–18. Here, two student delegates at the Texas State Summit reflect on the day, giving a glimpse into the summit from the student perspective.

Jaden Smith
NEHS member
Fourth Grade
Holy Trinity Episcopal School, Houston, TX

During the Texas State Summit I enjoyed learning about conservation and social justice efforts. The State Summit helped me understand my relationship with the environment. The State Summit also helped me develop leadership skills and more. (more…)

Court Is Now In Session: The Collaborative Team Approach to Curbing Discipline Problems

Guest post by Andrea Dennis

Do you often feel that the bulk of your day is spent as judge, jury, and executioner? Do you recall those roles being outlined in your job description? Administrators are regarded as the chief disciplinarians within schools. When classroom instructors routinely defer to administration on myriad minor student transgressions, assistant principals drown under the tidal wave of referrals and fail to evolve into the transformative instructional leaders needed for schools to thrive. Modifying policies with innovation and cooperative methodology, however, can make redirecting student behavior a shared task and curtail office referrals schoolwide.  (more…)

Makerspaces: Learning Through Play at Portage High School 

Guest post by Robin Kvalo

As the principal of Portage High School, the term “makerspace” came into my world when I brought Naomi Harm, innovative educator consultant, to Portage High School for staff development workshops. Initially, I wasn’t sure where makerspaces would fit in a high school. However, after attending Naomi’s makerspace workshop Make Room for Makerspaces at the School Leaders Advancing Technology in Education (SLATE) convention in Wisconsin, I was hooked.  (more…)

Helping Students Overcome Behavioral Issues: The RISE Intervention Program

Guest post by David Caruso

Though many students successfully navigate their middle school years, some students lose focus, have tremendous difficulty developing positive relationships, often avoid work, and engage in extremely disruptive behavior—all of which impede academic and social progress. As administrators, we know well that these are the students whose problematic behaviors, if not corrected, will result in frequent visits to the office for discipline.  (more…)

Do You Want to Offer School Meals At No Cost to All Students? 

Guest post by Alison Maurice

Find out if your school district is eligible to provide free meals to your students with this handy FAQ guide to the community eligibility provision. (more…)

Integrated STEM Program at Portage High School

Guest post by Robin Kvalo

Portage High School in Portage, WI, introduced a new STEM manufacturing program for selected sophomores this 2016-17 school year. The major highlight of the program is that the students will take English, math, and science credits in the technology education and engineering labs. The core classes are integrated with technology education projects and our new “Enterprise,” our in-house manufacturing business experience. Core content teachers share classroom space with technology educators, teaming up for academic success for these individual students. (more…)

How State Level Education Policies Hold Us Back, and How We Can Improve Them

Guest post by Denver J. Fowler

As an education leader in Mississippi, I am frustrated that our state consistently places last in national education rankings. Education Week gives Mississippi a D- and ranks it 50th (out of 50 states and the District of Columbia). Even more troubling to me is that my fellow Mississippians seem to have gotten used to this situation, and detailed plans on how to fix the problem is lacking. Year after year, it appears Mississippi is not getting the job done when it comes to educating our children. I am left wondering why and asking myself what can we do in order to address this issue?  (more…)