This continues a series of columns from principals at schools in the Carson City School District:
Eagle Valley Middle School (EVMS) has a rich history and remains determined and focused to provide quality educational opportunities to the families it serves.
Looking forward with its success from the past, EVMS is involved in a number of current endeavors, two of which are going to be highlighted here.
Creating and maintaining an effective school is dependent on supporting and training the best possible teaching staff. Implementation Specialists are being used in the District’s secondary schools to observe, train, coach, and assist teachers in their daily efforts. Implementation Specialists are certified, master teachers who are recognized by their peers as experts in both the knowledge of their content areas and the art and science of teaching.
EVMS is fortunate to have Kari Pryor and Kim Whisler serving in this capacity. Implementation Specialists Amy Burton, Jeremy Lewis and Jeff Greb, are based at Carson Middle School, but also support our teachers. This team of instructional experts works between the two middle schools and in collaboration with each other. Not only do they provide guidance for improving teaching strategies, but the Implementation Specialists have played a key role in helping to establish a system of uniform curriculum and assessments.
As with many professions, new and successful approaches are constantly being introduced. With so much new technology, curriculum, and data available as resources, appropriate teacher support is imperative. The Implementation Specialists and our new teacher mentor (Mary “Katie” Larkin) provide on-going and personalized training and support for our middle school teachers at EVMS. These “teachers of teachers” are constantly involved with studying and learning the new approaches and tools on which they train others.
Carson City School District knows how important it is to use the short time available for on-going professional development and has scheduled various times throughout the school year to guarantee that systemic professional development occurs. In a student-centered learning environment, teachers and students must work collaboratively so students can master the curriculum. With the support and training provided by our Implementation Specialists and the New Teacher Mentor, it’s more likely our students are going to continue to grow and succeed in their achievement.
Another area of great value for EVMS is our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). EVMS has a small, but dedicated group of parents who constantly strive to provide resources and opportunities for our students and the community. They work in conjunction with The Pizza Factory on Highway 50 to raise money for events and resources during EVMS’ Pizza Factory Night. The PTO also organizes fundraising events to purchase school improvement items such as outdoor lunch tables and snacks for high-stakes testing. It helps organize and support school functions such as Back-to-School Boot Camp, student dances, and an upcoming Bingo Night. It also provide engaging and fun events throughout the year that directly benefit our students.
With supports like these, it’s clear to see how Eagle Valley Middle School has continued to grow and serve our fantastic families and its dedicated professional staff.
Lee Conley is Eagle Valley Middle School Principal.