Erpenbeck Updates

Being Part of EES

Thank you for a tremendous professional and personal experience!

I want to take this opportunity to formally announce to the EES community that I will be retiring at the end of this year. Several years ago my wife and I had targeted the end of this year as to when I would pursue retirement. This was long before Mrs. Watson had ever considered a possible move to central office and long before any talk of pension reform. While I could not imagine any other type of career/profession, I have many interests and passions that I look forward to pursuing in the years to come. I have been so blessed to have spent the past 11 years at EES, and will take with me many great memories, from the events, to the people, to simply the overall culture of love/care for our students! The smiles, greetings, and daily hugs from our students will be cherished! As an assistant principal dealing with misbehavior and conflicts is a big part of the job. I can tell you that the vast majority of times when an issue was over and I reflected - it was with great appreciation in how all parents/guardians involved worked with perspective, understanding, and love to reach a resolution that would ultimately help their child to become a better person. To me this is the ultimate goal of schools - to work in collaboration with parents to help children to become the best individual that they can become. These experiences and memories will be carried with me through my next chapters in life. I am honestly such a better person from my experiences as a Mustang!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with both Becky Brown and Jenny Watson - two people that I truly respect. I had been a principal for six years prior to my arrival at EES. While I really loved that experience - it is an extremely demanding job. I experienced some health issues and a lot of time away from my family during those six years that caused me to examine priorities in life. Being hired at EES really allowed me to rejuvenate personally and professionally. When Mrs. Brown retired, I did not apply for the principal job and was 100% in favor of Mrs. Watson becoming the successor to Mrs. Brown. My expectation was to finish out my last year as the assistant principal working with Mrs. Watson. With the passion and talent that Mrs. Watson possesses, I was not surprised that she continued to get promoted working in larger roles having more impact on students- it is just that so many things had to happen to even have a central office vacancy in the first place and it just ended up with her leaving EES sooner that any of us expected. With the timing of her departure so close to the start of the 17-18 school year, the SBDM council sought to go with an interim principal for this current year in order to allow for ample time to select the absolute best candidate to lead EES in the future. With me only having one year left it just made the most sense for me to move to the interim principal role for this year. If I would be returning after this year I am not sure that I would have accepted the interim role - it would be a bit confusing for the students and community to go from assistant principal to principal and then back to assistant principal. So my goal was just to continue with the structure for this year that was already set up by Mrs. Watson and our team leaders for this year. Our focus has been on continuing to love our students and put their needs first along with strong quality core instruction for all students. Knowing that a new leader would be taking over next year - it just didn't make much sense for us to stray away from those two key focuses for this year.

The principal job has been posted for about a month now. The SBDM council is preparing to begin principal interviews soon. I am not sure when exactly a new principal will be named but I am looking forward to welcoming the new principal into the EES family. I will be working through June and will work together with the incoming principal to give them a working knowledge of the inner workings of EES.

Not that this is "goodbye" yet, but I just want you to know that it certainly has been a true honor and privilege to work with the great staff, students, and parents of EES. I can't thank each of you enough for the great experiences that I have been part of here!


Pat Berry