OSWEGO – A team of educators from Oswego Middle School recently attended the NYS Middle School Association Annual Conference where their principal, Mary Beth Fierro, served as keynote speaker.
With the support of her OMS colleagues, Fierro captivated the audience with her “Creating Connections at the Middle Level: #powerful” presentation.
As the 2017 New York State Middle School Principal of the Year and a National Distinguished Principal from New York State, Fierro discussed the power of unification in teams.
Togetherness for middle school educators, she said, will ensure they serve as a bridge for students to cross between elementary and high school.
“We are a strong team within our building that includes our faculty and staff, the students and their parents,” she said in the keynote address. “We often refer to ourselves as a family, but our OMS family extends beyond the walls of our school.”
Constant communication with staff members and students alike, she said, has helped create a well-oiled machine within OMS.
Reinforcement and celebration of positive behaviors, strong work ethic and various achievements would also enable students to feel supported.
That, she said, is powerful.
Fierro said she has tried to live by the quote, “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example,” which she has encouraged OMS staff member to live by.
Examples set forth by OMS administrative team leaders at the conference included: math team leader Mike Patane who attended the “Teaching the Tough Topics” workshop, while science team leader Elise Davis attended “Next Generation Science Standards at the Middle Level” workshop.
ELA team leader Jim Livingston attended “Fracking the Next Generation ELA Standards” and social studies team leader Jeff Brown attended “Next Generation Instructional Practices for Middle School Social Studies.”
Also in attendance was eighth grade English teacher Sandee Brown, school counselor Dan Rogers and OMS Assistant Principal Samantha Spaulding.
“It was a great day,” Fierro said. “The workshops were wonderful, and it was so nice to be able to spend time interacting professionally in a separate setting with our OMS leadership team.”