Strength based leadership is important to the success of any organization. The Gallup Organization conducts thousands of polls and studies each year. One study we found interesting is one focused on strength based leadership. It states, "First, the most effective leaders are always investing in strengths. Employees who do not work in strengths areas are only 9% engaged in their jobs vs. 74% engagement levels for people who do work in their strengths. Further, engagement has been proven to substantially increase productivity for the company. Second, the most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team" (Gladis 1).
We recently announced a re-assignment of roles for our administrative team. We utilized our strengths to maximize our team's effort. We wanted to utilize this newsletter to provide parents and community members with information about these new roles. Our goal was to organize our team and use our strengths to strengthen the school. Here is a brief synopsis of our updated leadership organization:
Brant Bemus - Mr. Bemus will now be leading a focus to support students during the sophomore year. Most of our students who struggle show signs during their sophomore year. This requires us to shift the focus so those students do not fall through the cracks. Additionally, we realigned some of our intervention programs (PBIS Tier II) , Academic Enhancement Center, and School-Within-a-School to have one leader overseeing it. He will also be involved in researching trauma informed practices for our school. He will be focusing primarily on the 10th grade students.
Joni Swenson - Mrs. Swenson will continue her work as Freshman Principal. In this role, she works the transition of students from North Middle to North High. This coupled with a strong team of teachers at the freshman level, the number of students failing during their first year of high school has been dramatically reduced. Additionally, Mrs. Swenson will be overseeing the Special Education Department at North High. Over 200 of our students are on Individualized Education Plans. Previously, the department was divided among multiple administrators. This will allow for a single focus and vision for supporting our students. She will be focusing primarily on the 9th grade students.
Chris Koch - Mr. Koch will now be serving as our Activities Director and continue to support Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). However, instead of overseeing the entire program, he will be focused on the Tier 1 Support System. This includes interventions received by all students and focuses on the increase of desired behaviors and the reducation of unwanted ones. He will also be involved in researching trauma informed practices for our school. Additionally, he will be working 11th and 12th grade students.
Ryan Dumkrieger - The adjustments above allow our administrative team to focus on two high need groups. Moving forward, I will be able to more directly support and direct our English Language Learners (ELL) and our Talented and Gifted (TAG) student programming. Both groups need specialized programming and structures to ensure needs are met. We will be analyzing schedules, course offerings, student data, and teacher strengths to ensure meaningful supports and structures are being developed for student success.
Change is not easy. The adjustments will begin during the 2018-2019 school year. However, we are currently transitioning into our new responsibilities. These changes will allow us to "maximize" our team and ensure that North High continues to grow academically and provide high quality service for all students and their families.
Ryan Dumkrieger is the principal of Sioux City North High School.