A stunning view of downtown Waco from the fourth level of McLane Stadium drew a crowd of more than 80 school administrators from Region 12 to the annual Administrators Appreciation Day, hosted on Oct. 3 by the School of Education’s Department of Educational Administration.
But the attendees were equally impressed with the content of the presentations, they said. Penny Kocian, principal of Axtell High School, said, “The presenters did an excellent job of making the presentation applicable to all levels — elementary, middle, and high school — in a district. That’s important to us as we spend time away from our campuses.”
Kocian was attending with Axtell Elementary principal Danette Stranacher, a Baylor education graduate from 1989 who earned her MSEd and principal certification in 1994. Stranacher said she enjoyed the presentation by McGregor ISD representatives about the district’s implementation of its one-to-one iPad program for students.
The iPad presentation was one of two workshop-style presentations for the administrators, and it covered such issues as blocking iPad applications, training teachers, whether to choose the Apple insurance program, how to pay for the iPads, and how the implementation differs at the different campus levels.
Paul Miller, principal of H.G. Isbill Junior High School in McGregor, told the crowd, “The students own the iPads, so they own their learning.” He said the technology has increased engagement, the students love to be in class, and the failure rate was down for the first six weeks.
Representatives from Midway ISD explained how the district has responded to new state-mandated accountability measures and reports. Assistant superintendent Brent Merritt led the group through Midway’s process from the initial development of committees and teams to the production of a printed accountability report.
Cherie Leavell, a 1979 Baylor graduate and the interventionist at Lampasas High School, said the session on accountability was especially helpful. “I took a lot of notes that I will take back to my campus,” she said. “I think that’s something we are all struggling with.”
Dr. Mary Ann Jordan, BA ’70, program director for the Principal Certification Preparation Program in the Department of Educational Administration, said she hopes the attendees found something helpful to take away from the day.
The main purpose of the event, she said, is to provide a well deserved “thank you” for area administrators. “The day is set aside to show gratitude for the sometimes thankless jobs school administrators perform each day,” she said. —Meg Cullar
To see our Facebook photo album from Administrators Appreciation Day, click HERE.