The Cardinal Way

Sharing and Learning at Southport Middle School

In the Middle Of It - Some Other Beginnings End

As I sit at my desk, here on the last day of school and all the students and staff have left the building, I find myself writing maybe the most difficult post since I have started this blog. This is my last official post as the principal at Southport Middle School. I started this blog three years ago as a way to share my learning and model the reflective practice I believe all successful educators need in their lives. I have found myself randomly clicking on the archived posts over the past few weeks and rereading and reliving joys, successes, epic failures, and most importantly my learning. What a journey it has been! It has been an honor to serve in the capacity of principal at Southport Middle. Words cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunity to lead this community of people on our journey over the past five years.


Change is difficult, but... “every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” Personally, I have learned and grown, as a leader and person, a great deal over the past five years. The principalship, and people I have worked with, have provided me with opportunities to grow that five years ago I would have never expected. In my opinion, I have changed more personally and professionally while serving as principal than any other time in my life. And for that I am forever indebted to the people I have come to know and respect during my tenure here at SMS.

Big image

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… here are some of the mind snapshots I have taken and reflect on often: Innovation Day, Captain America, Mr. Miller being taped to the wall, lunch (and sometimes dinner) from the concession stand, field day, undefeated seasons, amazing musical performances, becoming Cardinals, Mrs. Quinlan’s food exchange program in the cafeteria, opening day meetings, the TAP rubric, kids thriving in classrooms, Abel, Mr. Kight’s Christmas party with Pictionary, busted water pipes/overflowing toilets/rainy days at bus duty...all ending in another pair of wet shoes, the anarchy that breaks out when the network goes down, and the over-under on the last day dismissal.


All in all, I have a beautiful collection of memories that I will cherish from my time here.



I want to end this post with sharing my appreciation for the people who have supported me, challenged me, and pushed me to be the person I am today.

  • My gratitude for an amazing teaching staff goes beyond an appreciation of their daily work. Their dedication to students and Southport Middle School makes me proud to serve beside them.

  • I am thankful for the wonderful support staff that makes Southport Middle run smoothly every day. Their efforts to keep our offices orderly, serve lunches with a smile, positively support students’ work in classrooms, and maintain a clean school can sometimes go unnoticed, but they are vital for a great school environment!

  • I am grateful for the remarkable group of students that attend SMS. I am humbled every day by their spirit, youthful exuberance, and commitment to learning. We have the best group of students anywhere! I cannot wait to continue their journey with them at the high school level. I know the level of preparation that takes place here at the middle school, and I expect great things from these students at the high school level as well.

  • I am indebted to community in which I serve. The community support for Southport is overwhelming. I am grateful to live and work in such an amazing township!

  • I am thankful for my loving family. My four amazing children, my wonderful wife, and my parents are each supportive of my personal journey, and provide me with the courage and strength to strive for greatness every day! I would not be able to do the things I do without their love and support.


It is with a thankful heart that I move into my new position, but I will never forget the people and the events that helped to prepare me for the many new challenges ahead. I hope that you will all continue to follow me as I grow into my new role, and celebrate my new beginning at Southport High School.


And as always…Keep learning; keep growing; keep sharing!



This is cross posted on my Principal's Blog

Cardinal Spotlight

Every single person at Southport Middle deserves a huge thank you for making this year a success. Your efforts this year to help our students learn and grow academically, socially, and emotionally have been impressive. Thank you! I hope each of you has a restful and relaxing summer!

Grateful Friday Challenge

Week 37 Grateful Friday Challenge

Write one last thank you note to a staff member who has made a significant impact on your life this school year. Deliver that note to them before you leave for summer break.

Mr. Knight's Interesting Read for the Week

LEAVE THE WORLD BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT - 2016 MOTIVATION

#180DAYSOFLEARNING

Each day we share a story of learning taking place at Southport Middle on our 180 Days of Learning Blog. Below are this week's stories of learning.

Jeanne Fitzgerald

Ms. Weiss's 8th grade EL students have been working on a service learning project for the past three weeks. Students brainstormed ideas of difficulties they faced when starting at a new school and speaking a new language. Students decided to put together a guide new students could use to help them get acclimated to a new building, new culture, and a new language. Today, students presented their book to the Southport Middle Administration. This book will be used for years to come to help our new students feel welcome and help answer questions as they become a Cardinal for the first time.
Choir Fitz 8

Metric 500

Today was race day as 8th grade students participated in the 7th annual Metric 500. Over the past few weeks students have been designing and building CO2 dragsters in their science classes. Students packed into the gym today to see who built the fastest car each period! This end of the year project has become a great 8th grade traditional at Southport Middle School.
Metric 500

Melinda Weiss

Ms. Weiss's 8th grade EL students have been working on a service learning project for the past three weeks. Students brainstormed ideas of difficulties they faced when starting at a new school and speaking a new language. Students decided to put together a guide new students could use to help them get acclimated to a new building, new culture, and a new language. Today, students presented their book to the Southport Middle Administration. This book will be used for years to come to help our new students feel welcome and help answer questions as they become a Cardinal for the first time.

Field Day

A little rain did not stop us from having an amazing last day with an outstanding group of students. 8th graders enjoyed breakfast in the morning and both grades had an awesome time at field day, even though 8th grade got a little wet. We wish our 8th graders the best of luck in high school and look forward to having our 7th graders back next year!!

EDUCATIONAL HUMOR

Big image