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December 7, 2015

Greetings to the Britt Elementary School Community!

I must share with you a letter I received from Britt's Principal for a Day, Mr. Derek Singleton. Mr. Singleton was very impressed with the quality of instruction and learning that takes place at Britt each day, and he shared his appreciation in the following letter I am copying for you to read:

Ms. Jones-

First, I just want to say “Thank You” for allowing me to spend time with you on yesterday, and for allowing me to shadow you in your role as Principal of Britt Elementary. I have always had a deep appreciation for our educators, but after seeing your team in action, that appreciation is far greater now!

You have an amazing team of educators, administrators, and support staff!! I was absolutely amazed at such an impressive team that is leading and educating the Britt Comets. And the students… WOW! What an eager group of learners you have!

As I reflect on my day with the Britt Comets, there are many, many takeaways that I will forever remember… Kuddos to the Britt Comets team for having these amazingly cool specials with the science, literacy, and math labs, as well as the music and art specials. Mr. McNeill – thanks for teaching me that sand is larger than clay (who knew?!)… Ms. Brickley – what a cool way to learn about similes; My day at Britt Elementary was as spectacular as an ice cream sundae! Ms. Brown, as a finance guy, math is dear to my heart, so I love how you are engaging the students by having them prepare and present what they’ve learned – when these students learn the subject so well that they can teach it to their peers, it will remain engrained in their minds! Another refreshing highlight was spending time with Ms. Yurko in Art, and with Mr. Garner in Music. I love that the arts are being incorporated into the learning environment at such a young age! What cool ways to allow these students to be expressive.

As I visited with several classrooms throughout the day, one overarching observation I made was each teacher is empowered to design their learning space to meet the needs of their learners. Wow! I was also very impressed at how each teacher had full control of their classroom – what a phenomenal gift to have as you manage your classrooms into these amazing, interactive learning spaces! I love the uniqueness of each learning space! For the classrooms that I was able to visit and observe, I want to say “Thank You” for welcoming me into your classrooms. One really refreshing element of my day was that in each classroom I observed, it was obvious that there was no special preparation made for me as your guest – what I saw is exactly what happens on a daily basis; and, what I saw and observed is top-notch teaching and learning!! In Kindergarten, I was able to meet Ms. Citizen, Ms. Voiles, and Ms. Bugg. I appreciate very much how each one of these ladies was fully engaging their students, whether it was through the interactive smart board, through math games in the computer lab, or by reading a story and getting full participation in dissecting its content. In first grade, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Genama, Ms. DaSilva, and Ms. Forrester. In each of these classrooms, I was able to chat with students, and these students were able to tell me exactly what they were learning – the ‘what’, the ‘how’, and the ‘why’ … very impressive! Thanks also to the third grade classrooms that I was able to visit. A special thanks to Ms. Jordan and Ms. Bostwich – what amazing things you do with making learning fun!! I enjoyed my visits with the upper grades as well; I was able to visit with Ms. Henderson and Ms. Miller. I appreciate that Ms. Henderson encouraged multiple ways to solve the math word problem that her students were working on. The creativity and problem-solving skills of your fourth-graders are quite impressive. In observing Ms. Miller’s classroom, I learned a new game – “Buzz-Fizz”. I was a little nervous at first to participate, but I quickly realized it was because of great educators like each of you that I was confident in knowing my multiples of “5’s” and “7’s” (or both)!

It takes a phenomenal team of passionate individuals to make a school successful. There is no doubt in my mind that Britt Elementary has just that. I observed many different learning environments, and the common themes for me were: PASSION – I observed passionate hearts of each teacher whose classroom I visited…

ENGAGEMENT – each learner was fully engaged in the learning environment that they were in…

EMPOWERED – teachers, your principal loves you; she expressed that to me throughout the day. You are very blessed to have her leading your school, and to be empowered to make your learning space unique to those you are teaching – Wow!

As I said to you on the Britt Morning Show, “Thank You!!” From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely appreciate your contribution and dedication to the success of these students. You are teaching tomorrow’s leaders! We hear stories from some who fear that the pool of future leaders is dwindling… To those who have that fear, I challenge them to visit Britt Elementary and to observe what I observed – and that is special leaders (YOU!) pouring into not only the learning, but also the lives of these children! You are ensuring the future success of each individual learner that sits under your teaching each school day! What an honor that has been bestowed upon you! Thank you for leading that challenge, and thank you for making a difference in the lives of each of these students, and in our wonderful community!!

May you be blessed in all you do.

Warmest regards,

Derek M. Singleton

Chief Financial Officer

View Point Health

I, too, am very thankful for your excellent work. I must say Amen to what Mr. Singleton has to say. Thank you so very much!

Let me know how I can best support your good work at Britt Elementary School as we all strive together using effective, innovative practices to transform and personalize teaching and learning.

With warmest regards,


Two weeks remaining in the first semester! I hope you are enjoying the Twelve Days of Christmas at Britt 2015!

Thank you!

  • Please join me in thanking Dragica, Nura, and Norman for their hard work to keep our facility clean and shining!
  • The "Moonseum" was the best ever last week thanks to the extra work by Tom McNeill to make hands-on learning in a museum atmosphere a reality for our Britt Comets. It was amazing! Thank you, Tom! And thank you, Robin McCormick, for being flexible with your classroom and assisting Tom in making this hands-on learning experience possible for our dear children. This was another great example of transforming learning and moving to a higher degree of excellence.
  • Monica Mance, thank you for your excellent organization and collaboration to make Shop with a Cop a wonderful experience for our most needy children and their families. Thank you to the following Britt faculty who supported the event at Wal Mart: Melissa Madsen, Deborah Stringfellow, Monica Mance, Alaina Moore, Amy Bostwick, and Kelli Henderson.
  • Tracy Ward and the entire Ward Family, thank you so much for hosting the faculty and staff Christmas party at your home on Friday evening. Good food and fellowship were enjoyed by all! Thank you to Trisha Voiles, Sara Forrester, and all Britt Social Sunshine members for sponsoring this special evening. Thank you to all who prepared food to share. It was delicious!

Shop with a Cop


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