Working at Walnut Bend as the Principal/Superintendent has been a very rewarding experience. The staff and the students have made my job at The Bend a wonderful experience. I am excited about the progress we have made during these two years. There have been several enhancements and repairs made to the facilities -- including the repair of the roof, the purchase of a small bus for our local route, a few landscaping improvements, improved technology, and an outside classroom.
Academically, we have expanded our intervention program to include an interventionist, Mrs. Pierce, who has helpd many students improve their academic skills. We have added an Academic Coach, Mrs. Holle, who works with teachers to enhance their skills both in academics and in technology. Our Middle School Science teacher, Mrs. Hazel, has added science labs and hands-on activities that have increased student engagement. Our 1st and 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Hellinger, has created an innovative learning environment in which students work in small groups and at seating that meets their individual preferences. Our Student Council, under the direction of Mrs. Probst, has worked hard to add a little culture for our students through presentations by outside theater groups. Our teachers have increased student progress by having students self-monitor their progress and set goals and create strategies for improvement. Teachers have also begun using "I Can" statements in their student objectives to help students direct their attention to their learning for the day.
I am most proud of our staff and students for the new programs they have begun this year. Robotics is off to a great start. Students have used their problem-solving skills to create robots that perform specific tasks. Students have also learned coding skills during their computer time and in their classrooms. We discovered we have many talented students through their acting skills in Theater Arts and in their creative skills during art class. It has been a real joy this year to see their talents in both of these areas blossom as students share their talents with us.
Enrollment has increased to the point that we are "busting at the seams" in some classrooms. It is obvious that our school has earned a reputation as a school that cares about students and provides an atmosphere of learning for all. I have had parents tell me this when they call to inquire about a transfer. I feel we have made several gains during my two years here, and I feel certain that progress will continue to be made. I wish our staff and students much success in their future endeavors.