|Among the musical selections of the meeting were two numbers from the talented Cockeysville Middle School Celtic Ensemble, under the direction of Catherine Maglaras.|
In one of the most forceful speeches of his administration, Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe A. Hairston challenged school leaders to prepare students for a future without limits, saying, “this is a critical time for all of us to adapt, adjust, move forward, push forward, and drive toward the next level of achievement.”
The school system will get to that next level, he added, “when the rest of us fully understand that it is our principals and our teachers who can improve student achievement, and that the function for the rest of us is to provide support for them.”
The occasion of his remarks came during the Superintendent’s annual Administrative and Supervisory Meeting, a gathering of 700 principals, administrators, Board of Education members, and civic leaders held August 19 at Loch Raven High School.
During his 40-minute address, Dr. Hairston laid out his vision for the future of the 108,000-student school system, a coming year in which the system’s educators will be encouraged to take their roles as leaders to a new level in order both to solidify the system’s past achievements and to bring about future progress.
Entitled “Driving to the Next Dimension: Taking Leadership to a New Level,” Dr. Hairston’s spoke of today’s fast-paced world that challenges educators to “go where our students need us to go” – preparing students to lead and thrive in the global and technical future.
“Baltimore County Public Schools will get to the next dimension when every principal steps up to fulfill his or her promise as a schoolhouse leader, when every principal supports every teacher in being a true classroom leader, and when every manager empowers his or her staff members to lead,” he said.
Dr. Hairston’s message of the importance of leadership set the tone for the upcoming 2005-2006 school year. It was set against a backdrop of five years of sustained, steady growth in student and school accomplishment, test scores, and national and international recognition. His annual message also delivered an assessment of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for students and educators alike.
|Dr. Hairston acknowledges the greeting of 700 Baltimore County school administrators during his 2005 address.|
“This leadership is so important because we still have work ahead of us,” said Dr. Hairston. “Five years of progress is not enough for me. It is definitely not enough for our students.”
In addition to hearing from the superintendent, educators attended planning sessions, heard a welcome from Board of Education President Thomas Grzymski, enjoyed student musicians and singers from Cockeysville Middle School, Patapsco High School, and Carver Center for the Arts and Technology, and reconnected with colleagues after the summer break.
Dr. Hairston also reminded administrators of the successes of the past five years in the school system thanks to the system’s Blueprint for Progress, which has provided direction and goals for the school system since 2000.
“We are following a solid plan, but we
still need the capacity and the wisdom to make
adjustments en route,” he said. “The
secret to good instruction -- and good leadership
-- is to constantly monitor and adjust, to be
aware, and to be flexible.
“We are preparing our students for a future that we cannot imagine, that they cannot imagine,”
Dr. Hairston concluded. “And we are finally – finally -- at a place where schools are no longer designed to sort children and predetermine how far they can or will go. There are no more limits. There is no limit to what our students can do, what we can do, or how far we can drive this system forward.”
Dr. Hairston’s address to Administrative and Supervisory personnel will be broadcast daily at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. through Wednesday, August 31, on The Education Channel (Comcast Channel 73) in Baltimore County.
Story by Charles Herndon, Communications Specialist. Photos courtesy of The Education Channel.