Although not my first administrative position, Lynhaven Elementary was my first solo site leadership position. I must say my time with the Campbell Union School District (CUSD) were “the” formative years; years that defined who I was to become as a leader. The superintendent and associate superintendent at the time were very confident, well-informed and driven leaders. They could demonstrate measured compassion, right before firmly telling you in very clear terms what they expected. CUSD is where I learned the skill of tracking individual’s work with the right balance of micro-management and loose supervision.
As a young staff and administrator Lynhaven achieved some amazing things in our time together, particular our curricular mapping practices. This at a time when we were in the middle of adjusting to California’s new class size reduction policy, which meant new staff and new schedules. We were able to have strong in-depth conversations about math and science instruction that effectively defined how our FOSS science program would articulate with math and reading program goals. With great support from our district literacy coaches we were able to raise our student’s California STAR Assessments (grades 2-5 Math and Reading) score by 12% in 10 months using improved instructional practice, including more expository text with science lessons.
There are four things that Lynhaven brought out in my leadership skills:
- At Lynhaven I continued my development as an effective communicator and manager of a large school while being the only administrator. Lynhaven was a school of 680 students when I joined it in 1999. This taught me a great deal about effective collaborative leadership to achieve consistent student discipline processes, meaningful teacher evaluation, while developing a strong academic program.