T-minus 76 days

Posted by Lindsay Harris on 6/1/2017

The new school year kicks off in 76 days and when I think about that I get really, really excited about putting the Wagner Way into action. I also would be lying if I told you that thinking too long about that doesn’t turn me into a frenzied, crazy lady that feels like 76 days is not enough time to completely accomplish my to-do list. So, like Scarlett O’Hara (kids, look her up), I am going to think about that tomorrow. Instead, I would like to focus on what we have accomplished in the last month or so.

We are almost fully staffed at Wagner Middle School, with just 3 teaching positions left to fill and a handful of other support positions vacant. We hosted a “hang out” opportunity with the staff that have joined the Wagner Team so far a couple of weeks ago at Uptown Social and had a fantastic time!



Mrs. Gaylor (6th grade Science), Miss Johnson (Art) and Miss Carstens (6th grade Social Studies) spent some time hanging out with the rest of the team at Uptown Social.



Good times with good people and a good view at Uptown Social!


We had a great time this month with all of our soon-to-be 6th grade Wolves! We were able to spend time with them in small groups, talk about our plan for the Fall, answer questions about middle school, and take a bus tour of the Wagner Campus. A big thank you goes to Mr. Dyer and the Mitchell Team for allowing us to host students at Mitchell, to Transportation for making our wacky plan happen, and to David Bieshievel for helping us with the bus tours. It was a great day!


This group of Wolves is learning more about the design of their building and how space and furniture will be used to support our Learner Profile.



Students left the day with a Wagner pencil and a “Save the Date” card about Camp Wagner this summer.



The highlight of the day for each group was the bus tour! Students were amazed by the football/track stadium and impressed by the size of the building. The most enthusiastic comments came when we showed the students the 6th grade Den -- where many of their classes will be next year!


We have spent some time these last few weeks getting ready for a summer of learning and teambuilding for the Wagner Staff. We have some days set aside in June for all of the Wagner Teachers to come together to establish who we are as a group, what we believe, what we want to accomplish, and how we plan to reach those goals. In addition to that important work, the Wagner Team is going to do a lot of learning together this Summer.



Mr. Vanicek, the GHS principal and one of my favorite partners in the principalship, and I are planning a learning opportunity for the Wagner & GHS teams in June -- this is us in the midst of a Google HangOut with colleagues from Coppell ISD as we plan the event.


I’ve been to the building in the last few days and here is what I’ve got to share...

Football Field

The Wagner football field and track stadium (and soccer field, too!) is nearly complete! The stadium will have bleachers, a press box, and a concession stand with restrooms. The turf will be completely green when it’s finished -- you see sand that has been laid on top of the turf as part of the installation process.



This is an entrance into the Commons from the back of the building -- students will actually enter this way when they get off the school bus in the mornings. Those tall openings will be doors and large windows. To the left (where the door is open) are the athletics locker rooms. To the right is the kitchen.



This is the inside of the 7th & 8th grade STEM Den, where math and science classes will be held. You can tell by the picture that the space is very open, and the metal you see in the ceiling is actually the tracks for the moveable glass panels go.



This is the framing for the Teacher workspace inside the STEM Den. At Wagner, teachers won’t have desks in assigned classrooms! Teachers will each have a desk inside a shared office space in their Den. This allows the classroom space to be flexible and for teachers to use different spaces within their Den, as teachers will decide what space and furniture they need to best implement each different lesson plan.



Making progress in the library!



This is the art patio. THIS HUGE SPACE IS THE ART PATIO! The patio is completely covered and is larger than both art classrooms combined. You can enter the patio from the library and from the art classrooms, and I imagine that it will be a popular place in our building!


 Learning Stairs

I have posted pictures from this location before, and I hope it shows you the progress that’s been made. This is from the top of the Learning Stairs. On the first floor, you see the Commons and the stage. You can also see past them into the STEM Den. On the second floor, you see the Humanities Den to the right and the Library in the center. How cool are those wooden beams? 


I’m going to end this post with a picture of some people that are pretty remarkable. This group of teachers, counselors, a secretary, a librarian and some administrators (not everyone is in the picture) came together in the Fall of 2016 with a shared hope of learning and making decisions together that would serve as the foundation of a special place for students to learn and adults to work. This group of leaders has provided insight, laughter, passion, questions, and commitment these past few months. They are going to do fabulous things for Wagner kids in their respective positions and they will all remain campus leaders in some capacity. I’m not sure who is more lucky -- Wagner kids, that they have these fine educators investing in them each day, or me, who gets to see it all happen.


The inaugural Wagner Leadership Team.

L->R: Amy Heil (Librarian), Ashley Gaylor (6th grade Science), Tim Schermbeck (7th grade ELAR), Danielle Holloway (Assistant Principal), Lindsay Harris (Principal), Tish Ptomey (Counselor), JoEllen Goldsberry (Counselor), David Hunt (Asst. Principal), Catherine Carstens (6th grade Social Studies)


Until Next Time,


Lindsay Harris

Principal, Wagner Middle School