Principal's Corner

Dr. Richard Cardin

Dr Cardin

“Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible” (Colin Powell, 2003).

 

I believe that it is not only our duty to educate our students for post-secondary education success, but also for success in becoming democratic citizens. With the melting pot we live in, I believe all students should be well educated in what it means to be a functioning citizen in a democracy. These skills are necessary in the ever changing world we live in. John Dewey believed that educating a democratic society was the cornerstone of American education.

Education is much more than passing a test in the four major core areas, yet many times the focus is only on academics. I believe that through solid instructional practices and through building relationships, all children can be successful in their education. Relationships are a crucial part in building the trust required by students to engage them in the classroom. The potential to learn is inside every child, but sometimes it takes that special connection with the educator to bring it out. If you capture their hearts, you can capture their minds.

Since students vary in learning styles, instruction must be varied to ensure that we are not missing that unique quality each child brings to the classroom. By connecting instruction to real world applications, connections can be made for long term use of that knowledge. Today’s students expect to know how instruction relates to the real world and part of our job as educators is to build those connections to reinforce their learning.

From the beginning of American education, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin both advocated for vocational education in order to strengthen the middle class. Through the industrial age and even through two world wars, American education had a strong background in vocational education. During President Clinton’s address to the nation, he called for all children to go to college. Thus began the college for all mantra. I firmly believe that college for all is an insurmountable goal. Some students are just not college bound. Economic, social, or many other reasons can keep a child from attending college. For these students I believe we must offer an alternative route to finding a job or even a career. Research shows that students who are enrolled in a Career and Technical Education program are more likely to graduate and become successful citizens. I would advocate for stronger Career and Tech programs in the future to help combat the dropout rates and offer an alternative path to the college route.

Our goal is to educate young citizens to be able to function in a democratic society. I believe we can achieve this goal but not until we look at the individual child and their strengths and weaknesses. No longer can we educate our children with a one size fits all mentality. The individualization of education plans will lead to a better education of our students and solid citizens capable of achieving the American dream.

I believe an educational leader must above all lead with integrity.  They must be willing to accept failure as easily as they accept success. My driving goals as a leader are communication, collaboration, and trust.  Only by utilizing the first two can trust be built.  A true leader is open to criticism as well as acclaim and uses both in a reflective manner to achieve better results for the organization. 

 

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