A little of this and a little of that.

Posted by Lindsay Harris on 5/1/2017

Well, I just looked up and it is May. How can that be? To say that the school year has flown by me is an understatement, and to think that this time next year we will be close to celebrating the end of the first school year for Wagner Middle School is absolutely mind-blowing.

I think I mentioned before that our first squad of cheerleaders had been established, and in the last few weeks the girls have been busy! We had a parent meeting the first week of April, in which I learned three things about the girls: they are absolutely precious, they have supportive parents, and they have very clear opinions about their uniforms and Wagner gear. (Which I loved hearing!) Since that meeting, the Wagner cheerleaders have been busy with their first fundraiser, and if the amount of chocolate they have sold is any indication, these Wolves are hard workers! Before I talk about some of the other things happening these last few weeks, I’d like to give a big shout-out to Jeannie Cottle at EVHS for helping to get the Wagner Cheerleader Squad started! She’s been a tremendous help to us, the girls, and their parents and we couldn’t be more grateful. Thanks, Jeannie!


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These sweet faces are the keepers of the Wagner spirit!


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A little preview of some of the Wagner Wolves Cheerleader swag!


In the past few weeks, the Leadership Team has wrapped up its book study on Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team. As it always is when we learn together, it was a bonding experience to hear teammates’ reflections about their own experiences and it was inspiring to hear each person’s commitment to making the Wagner team a supportive, effective, empowered group of adults. The Leadership Team cares a lot about making Wagner Middle School a great place for adults to work because it really understands that a high-performing team of adults will produce the most positive learning experiences for students. I feel lucky to get to be a part of it!


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I can’t recommend this book enough!


I spent some time out at the Wagner construction site recently for a “keying meeting.” Do you know what that is? I did not. We spent two hours going room by room to make decisions about what keys should be required to open each door. I did my best, but I’d like to apologize now to any future Wagner staff member that has the thought “why in the world is this the key for this door?” You can blame me. I tried, I promise I did. It’s also probably a good time to acknowledge that two hours of me looking at detailed plans of the building is really two hours of me asking random questions, such as “Where is the ice machine?” and “Are there cabinets under that counter?” David Biesheuvel, our Executive Director of Facilities in GISD, is a saint to deal with all my questions and I wouldn’t blame him at all if announces a question limit for me the next time we are together.


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“The room where it happens”. (That’s my obligatory Hamilton reference, as I recently saw it and can’t help working it into every conversation I can. You’re welcome.) In this case, “it” = “excessive questioning.”


One more noteworthy event I want to share in this post is the first meeting of our Discipline Design Team. One of things that needs to be developed for our campus is a plan for supporting students that make decisions that impact their or others’ ability to learn or teachers’ abilities to teach. We are meeting every other week for the next couple of months to develop our plan and the entire Wagner staff is invited to participate. Our first meeting was two weeks ago, and we started our work with some team-building and some conversation about our district’s belief statements and learner profile. It was just the beginning of a pretty arduous task, but the time was fruitful and I look forward to seeing what the team puts in place to support students and their learning!


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Teamwork makes the dream work!


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Every single decision we make as a Wagner Middle School team is intended to bring us closer to building the GISD Learner Profile’s attributes in our students.


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We had some great discussion among our team members about behaviors and their relationship to our beliefs.


I want to end this post with a big thank you to these three ladies:

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L->R: Tish Ptomey (Counselor), Danielle Holloway (Asst. Principal) and Sarah Spence (Principal’s Administrative Assistant)


If you’ve had any interaction with the Wagner team yet, you know these three are the very best at what they do. So much more than their titles, since they joined the Wagner team full-time in January, they have also been event planners, leaders of professional learning, temporary cheerleader sponsors, graphic designers, master schedulers, wranglers of an errant principal, and ambassadors for Wagner Middle School and Georgetown ISD. They have full plates and still consistently impress those that they come in contact with. They are driven by the belief that Wagner students and staff deserve the best in all things and are committed to making Wagner something special. I have and will make plenty of mistakes (hello, keying meeting!), but I sure got it right with these three. Wagner is lucky to have them. And so is the Wagner principal.


Until Next Time,


Lindsay Harris

Principal, Wagner Middle School