• Principal's Page

     Coleman 2  
     Small Tiger
    Hello Tiger Family,
    As the new Principal of J. Frank Dent Elementary School, I am both excited and honored to become a member of this great school community. Over the past couple of months I have had the opportunity to learn about the school from leadership, staff, parents, and students. I am humbled by a shared purpose which has guided my own leadership: a relentless commitment to putting children at the center of our work in education.

    In that time, I have learned that our purpose as educators is to address gaps in students' learning, support challenges that are beyond their control, and motivate them to aspire to greatness. I was attracted to J. Frank Dent Elementary because its mission aligns with my core belief for all students to have a quality education that effectively meets their emotional and academic needs. Below you will find my philosophy, mission, and vision.

     Philosophy of Education

    In today’s society, education is a top priority.  The fundamental purpose of schooling is student learning, and all children have the right to a quality education.  An ideal school consists of a community of learners whose main focus is student achievement.  The school is considered a caring community, and has a specific moral purpose.  High standards are set, and high achievement is demanded.  Staff members establish high expectations for all students, and provide the support necessary for them to achieve their goals.


    Effective schools have effective leaders.  An effective leader demands respect and honesty from themselves, their staff, and their students.  They transmit a well-defined set of goals to staff, students, parents, and the community.  They are always working to improve the school.


    Having a vision for a school is essential.  The vision should include high standards of learning and continuous school improvement.  The school staff must share in this vision.  A shared vision is very powerful, and will help to create an environment of low anxiety and high standards.  A school must also have a clear, shared mission.  Research and data analysis should be used to help shape the mission of the school.  Staff, students, parents, and community members should all take part in developing this mission, and it should be widely shared and understood.


    A positive school climate is crucial to its success.  The atmosphere of a school should be one of caring and trust.  The school should be a supportive environment that is conducive to learning.Both students and staff should feel comfortable and safe at their school.  Positive interpersonal relationships also help create a positive school culture.  These relationships are fostered when both staff and students are encouraged to work collaboratively.  An effective staff will work together to create a safe and supportive learning environment.

    The students are the most important members of a school community.  Under the appropriate conditions and with the appropriate strategies, all students can and will learn.  The nature and quality of learning experiences must be exemplary.  Creative thinking and analyzing skills are important in today’s technological society.  Students must gain critical thinking skills along with knowledge.  They must be taught how to learn and how to apply what they learn.  Student performance must be evaluated frequently.  Achievement data should be analyzed and instruction should be planned accordingly.  All of these efforts will help students succeed.

    Children need constant support and guidance and their welfare should be our focus.  They should be valued, respected, nurtured, and supported.  Encouragement and praise are strong motivators and may be just what they need to succeed.  Children must learn and develop both academically and socially, and we must work hard to prepare them for adulthood.


    Besides school staff members, parents and community members can play a huge role in ensuring the success of students.  School should solicit the active involvement of parents and community leaders in school functions.  Community resources should be sought out and used often.  Collaboration and communication with families and the community are crucial to the success of a school.  Parents can provide valuable and necessary information and they must be valued and respected.  They should be welcomed and encouraged to become involved in their child’s education.  Opportunities should be provided for parents to work with their children in learning settings.  An open line of communication will help build trust and collaboration between school and home.


    In an effective school, staff members should feel like they are a part of a great team that works together for the success of their students.  Teachers should be valued and respected for their knowledge of and experience with children.  Their efforts should be acknowledged and appreciated.  Good teachers are well-read and critical learners that are up to date on the latest teaching strategies and educational issues.  Their top priority should be the success of their students.  They should be provided with the materials and tools necessary to implement an effective instructional program.


    An effective school leader must work hard to support collegiality among staff members.  Staff members must be kept informed and consistently supported.  Groups and committees should be created and given responsibilities.  Staff members along with all other stakeholders should share in decision making when possible and appropriate.  Empowered managers should be cherished and feel appreciated.  A happy staff that feels supported and needed is often a productive staff.


    Professional development is vital to teacher effectiveness.  It should be meaningful and helpful to teachers.  It should include information on the changing role of the teacher, the latest developments in the area of instruction, and reflective practice techniques to assist teachers in self-improvement.  Good staff development will help teachers address the diverse needs of their students and help to improve their professional skills.


    A school leader has the greatest ability to make a school successful.  There are many personal qualities that effective school leaders must possess.  They must have a strong sense of self, personal discipline, and the educational process.  Effective leaders are well-rounded, knowledgeable individuals with strong problem solving skills.  They have good moral character and conduct themselves with pride, fairness, and integrity.  Ethics, performance, and quality are never compromised.


    School leaders must have high expectations and strive for greatness.  They must focus on leading as well as managing.  They must be both a good business manager and an effective instructional leader.  A balance must be found between instructional leadership, routine administration, and human relations.  Time is limited, and must be used effectively, with priorities set on instructionally related matters.  Effective leaders foster open communication, decision-making, and problem solving.  They are able to lead people toward personal and organizational goals.


    School leaders must also be highly visible, and more skilled at listening than telling.  They must have the courage and determination to overcome difficulties.  Decisions must be made keeping in mind what is in the best interest of the students, the staff, and the school.  Ethical principals should be involved in the decision-making process.


    School principals should be lead-learners by continuously participating in and providing professional development.  They must make a serious commitment to life-long learning for themselves and their staff.  They must constantly renew and improve their knowledge and skills.They must be willing to take risks when necessary for the welfare of the school.  They must also allow and encourage their staff members to take risks for the good of their students.


    I feel very strongly that the relationship an administrator has with his/her staff is a key component of an effective school.  I will continue to work hard to ensure that my relationships with my staff are positive.  I will trust and respect them in order to gain their trust and respect.


    As a school leader, I have dedicated myself to improving the educational experiences of my staff and students.  I am constantly working to build a successful school community.  Through collaboration, hard work, and determination, I am certain that my school, staff, and students will succeed.


    I am committed to assure learning experiences that will assist our students to achieve their greatest potential to adapt and adjust to a diverse and ever changing society. We are dedicated to serve our students with the understanding that diversity of gender, physical or mental ability, culture, and background is a strength to be respected.


    As a leader,  I am committed to providing students with exemplary instruction designed to educate the whole child so that he/she may become a productive member of the community. We nurture intellectual curiosity, collaborative and critical thinking, and effective communication. Instruction is aimed at supporting each student's ability to achieve at the highest levels. We encourage all members of the community to contribute to the support of student learning and to act as collaborative partners in the education of our children. Students are guided in the exploration of their intellectual, artistic, technological, physical, social, and character development. Our rigorous, standards-based instructional program is geared toward enabling all students to meet the challenges of the future with confidence and compassion.