NORTH ZULCH — Superintendent Alan Andrus and curriculum director Lea Ann Andrus have already made an impact in their new positions before their first school year has even started.
The new administrators have provided their teachers with summer training in order to ensure the best possible academic environment in 2017 and beyond.
“We want a well-rounded school here,” said Superintendent Andrus. “Obviously it starts with our academics and we want to see them improve. We have very smart kids here; we have very smart teachers here. All the pieces are here for a very successful environment.”
The Andrus’ met with the staff for the first time in the spring so they could get to know them. After all of the job assignments were clear, they began sending them to professional development.
“That was something that was very important to us,” said Lea Ann Andrus. “Getting the teachers out and trained has been the main thing that I have focused on this summer.”
The reading, writing and math teachers grades pre-K through high school have all participated in the training. The teachers attended the Writing Academy in Kemah, Tap & Think Reading Academy, CAMT Math Academy in Fort Worth and the administrators have also received training in Austin.
They are also hosting an in-house training for the faculty. The teachers at West Hardin, which is where the two worked before North Zulch, will run the training next Wednesday.
“Basically they learn everything tied to the latest teaching strategies,” said Lea Ann Andrus. “They get the latest research, how to use and implement that research, activities with the students and so much more.”
The teachers all took time out of their personal and family lives over the summer to attend these conferences. Some of the conferences, such as the one in Kemah, required a commitment of 4 days without including travel time.
“That was such a huge leap of faith for them to take with a new administration,” said Lea Ann Andrus. “This is what he implemented at West Hardin and it was very effective, but it was extremely important that we talked to them about all of this in the spring.”
All of the teachers were happy to participate in the summer activities.
“We have a great staff here,” said Superintendent Andrus. “They’re very eager in wanting to learn.”
Lea Ann Andrus also attended a conference over the summer in Houston hosted by author Debbie Diller. She believes it’s important for her to see things through the eyes of her teachers.
“We want our students to be able to leave here and feel like they have the confidence and skills to pursue whatever they desire,” said Lea Ann Andrus. “Student success is what ultimately drives everything we do. Students from smaller communities sometimes think they can’t compete with those from a larger community, but they can. Our teachers have been trained with the very best research and we have amazing technology here. It’s all about putting the pieces together.”
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