Elmore Park Middle School holds a special place in my heart! Most people don’t dream of repeating middle school or junior high and in that aspect I am definitely no different. However, almost 8 years ago I was blessed with the opportunity of my first principalship with ZERO years of professional middle school experience. These past few years have been wild to say the least, but most importantly they have enabled me to resolve the purpose of my leadership: supporting everyone I come across on their journey of life.
Schools are complex systems in which we receive a couple hundred new students every year and in a short time we see them leave us for the next segment of their education. Our greatest challenge remains deciphering the age of adolescence, so that we can continually work toward our students leaving us equipped for their future. Our process for cultivating this student agency begins in our mission statement:
Elmore Park Middle School seeks to engage each stakeholder in accepting 100% Responsibility while building lasting Relationships in order to produce extraordinary Results.
We call this our 3 R’s.
RELATIONSHIPS lay the foundation for all that we are attempting to build upon. Middle schoolers arrive and exist with such delicate identities which must first and foremost be safe within the school environment before we attempt to cultivate academic endeavors. Collectively, our staff strives to simultaneously maintain belief systems that each student can develop their own agency and also that we can be a vehicle for their growth.
RESPONSIBILITY is a concept we nurture throughout middle school. Ideally, students will begin to differentiate between their responsibility FOR themselves and their responsibility TO others. Middle school is time in which natural consequences speak louder than all the safe advice adults attempt to pass along. Our responsibility TO our students is to offer them truth and grace while time takes care of the rest.
RESULTS are a funny thing because we are not playing a win or lose game when it comes to school. We are on an infinite journey of self-discovery and learning. Along the way there will be small wins or recognitions, but the most important of the lasting outcomes will be reflections and memories that happen later in life. Sure, we have strived for academic success, but the most valuable results will be noticed when a student says they believe they can be successful!
Whatever your association with The Park Family may be, I wish you nothing but the best!
Dr. Ethan Randall, Principal