Wednesday, July 1, 2015

First Day as a 'Knight'

To the Lake Norman Charter Community,

Today, I officially begin serving as Interim Principal of Lake Norman Charter High School.

I have been able to observe Lake Norman Charter grow from the outside since the high school expanded to 9th grade for the first time.  My teaching and coaching career began in Huntersville and I have been a resident of Huntersville/North Charlotte since arriving to North Carolina from Michigan.

Yet, I am in the unique situation of already having a good sense of the strengths, needs, and community of Lake Norman Charter.  In fact, I was in attendance at the Legacy Graduation Ceremony in 2011, held in the gymnasium.  Regardless, I will be engaging in the crucial task of simply listening to all stakeholders to gather your valuable feedback.
Today I get to begin as your Interim Principal of the High School.  

My #1 responsibility is the safety and supervision of our students, every single school-day.  No other task is more important than providing a safe, nurturing learning environment to ALL students of our school.  Therefore, visibility is, and will always remain, the most important aspect of my job.

It is extremely important to develop and continue to enhance the relationships among public, charter, and private schools in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, as well as North Carolina.  My professional experience and relationships with school leaders across the region and the state should provide ongoing opportunities for continued communication and collaboration.

My experience in two large, extremely diverse public high schools has bestowed a rapport with a wide-range of students and families.  In alignment with the "Cross Cultural Competency" component of the strategic plan, this experience will only supplement our future plans as a school to reach our goals in this portion of the Strategic Plan.

The successful launching of the 1:World technology program has designed daily opportunities for students to globalize their learning, as well as integrate instructional "Best Practices."  I was fortunate enough to co-write the first successful iPad Pilot Grant in Gaston County Schools, but our own learning must continue to evolve.

The Mission Statement of Lake Norman Charter includes preparing students "with a life-long desire to lead, learn, and serve".  I strongly believe in the importance in modeling lifelong learning as educators, and even more so as Principal.  It is my charge to set the example for our faculty, students, and community how beneficial collaboration and continuous learning is to my own professional growth.  One key method is through Social Media and a recent example is my moderation of the #ncadmin twitter chat, which recently involved the topic "Leadership Through Summer Learning."

Along the same lines, an indispensable component of my leadership involves my social media presence.  Digital citizenship and illustrating the demands for a positive digital footprint is one I take seriously, not only as a school leader, but also as a role model.  Our faculty will undoubtedly hear me discuss the benefits of being a "connected educator" and how this can directly impact our students in a positive way.  I encourage you to connect with me on Twitter (@CSmithGoBlue) and to also continue reading other posts on this blog.  Social media affords school leadership to be transparent to ALL stakeholders, and I cannot wait to further strengthen the social media presence of Lake Norman Charter.

While I am joining the high school faculty, I am very encouraged to work closely with Michelle Holland to foster and develop a true 5-12 model, aligned with the Core Values of the LNC Student.  Her leadership and experience with the LNC Community will be a fantastic asset.

What can you expect?

The expectations of our students should align with the expectations we have for ourselves as educators.  Accountability is paramount with me for staff and students alike, and it begins with holding myself accountable every single day.

Also, the quote coordinating best with my leadership is by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."  If you ask anyone what personality trait has remained constant, they would say enthusiasm.

See related post: Enthusiasm & Confidence

For the next few weeks, I will be meeting with teachers, staff, & students as I acclimate with the LNC community.  Please, when you see me around campus, do not hesitate to stop and introduce yourself.

I cannot wait to become more familiarized with the faculty, students, parents, and community.

The Lake Norman Charter motto is "Together we learn, lead, and serve."

I am honored to begin serving today; my first day as a KNIGHT.

Thank you for viewing,

Craig S. Smith
Principal (Interim)
Lake Norman Charter High School

The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to LNC! May the 2015/2016 school year be a great one for all teachers, staff, students, and families!