A Principal Experience Calls Community Leaders to Report to the Principal’s Office

Reading at Huegel Elementary.

MADISON, Wis. – October 9, 2018 – The principals of each of Madison’s 50 public schools were accompanied by local business and community leaders, dubbed “Principal Partners” earlier this week as part of the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools fifteenth annual “A Principal Experience.” During their time as Principal Partners, they had a chance to learn firsthand about the challenges and rewards local school principals navigate every day.

Principal Partner Jessie Small jumps into action at Mendota Elementary

Jessie Small, of Total Administrative Services Corporation (TASC), accompanied Principal Carlettra Stanford at Mendota Elementary School to classroom visits, meetings and conversations with students on Tuesday morning. Mendota is one of four designated Community Schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District.

“I learned Principal Stanford and her staff do remarkable things to support the children and the families of Madison’s north side community, 80 percent of which live in poverty,” Small reflected, “I am forever grateful for this eye-opening experience.”

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During the afternoon, Principal Partners met at the Alliant Energy Center for lunch and a discussion forum, moderated by Jason Ilstrup, President of Downtown Madison, Inc., who shadowed Principal Ben Ketterer at Glendale Elementary School earlier that morning.

“Participating in ‘A Principal Experience’ was educational, rewarding and thought provoking,” Ilstrup said, “Ben is an outstanding leader, works tirelessly to educate the next generation and serves his community in innumerable roles. ‘A Principal Experience’ makes you realize that a whole community must take part in raising the next generation to ensure Madison’s future is even brighter.”

Partners reflected on their morning at the schools and heard from Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham on the importance of school-community partnerships to ensure each school in our community is a place where students, staff and families can thrive.

“While we have extraordinary principals and teachers who put their talent, heart and skill into everything they do, they can’t do it alone,” Cheatham told the audience gathered at lunch, “We are so grateful for the support of our partners and community. To make progress on our goals, we’ll rely on the outstanding leaders that you shadowed today. We’ll also rely on you.”

Indeed, service as a Principal Partner is often the catalyzing experience that compels local leaders to “adopt” a school on behalf of their company, department or faith community. Pam Terry, of Demco in Madison was partnered with Principal Beth Lehman at Hawthorne Elementary, a school that Demco adopted in 2011.

“As amazing as it is for me to participate in ‘A Principal Experience,’ our Adopt-a-School partnership with Hawthorne Elementary gives all of our Demco coworkers a chance to be involved,” Terry said, “By working with the enthusiastic Hawthorne staff, our coworkers have had a hand in improving the lives of students and their families both in and out of the classroom. It’s incredible to see firsthand the impact our partnership is having in our community.”

To see a complete list of 2018 principal partners and how you can get involved, please check here.

The Principal Partner team at East High School joins principal Mike Hernandez in the hall.