Burros Bits with Lara Luu, Sept. 7, 2013
Recently, Burroughs has been given the amazing opportunity to gain some amazing staff and administrators. Last year, our past vice principal, Chad Houck, had left in order to be Mesquite’s new principal. Although we miss his presence here on campus, Burroughs has been lucky enough to gain a new and equally great vice-principal: Joanne McClelland. Today, we would like to give the community some insight on her.
Mrs. McClelland has transferred to Burroughs from Monroe Middle School, and can be seen in her office or around campus. She is a very confident woman, and the self-assured way in which she holds herself reflects this. Mrs. McClelland is also passionate about education and her role as a past teacher and current administrator.
“I was inspired to become an educator by a teacher that I had in high school,” Mrs. McClelland stated. “She always taught us to do our best or to keep practicing until we were at our best. Over the past five or six years, our district has sent staff members to some very innovative training. I took many ideas from those conferences and applied them to my own teaching and saw the positive impact of the learning of my students. After a few years, I felt that I could influence the learning of more students from an administrative position.”
Since she transferred to Burroughs from a middle school, Mrs. McClelland is also adapting to the high school environment, which, suffice to say, has its own unique atmosphere and set of students. Every year, nervous parents send their children off to high school, and are amazed to see the changes in their sons and daughters as they grow and mature during their stay at Burroughs. Of course, this affects the way teachers and administrators manage their classrooms, which Mrs. McClelland has noticed in all of her years of experience and dedication in both the middle school and high school levels.
“The driving force behind the differences between middle school and high school is the age and developmental maturity of the students,” Mrs. McClelland stated. “This maturity allows administrators to focus on instructional management rather than discipline issues. High school students are better able to manage their behavior and therefore are able to learn on a higher and deeper level. This means high school administrators have the opportunity to provide instructional support for teachers to increase learning in all areas.”
Of course, many people focus on the impact Mrs. McClelland has made at Burroughs as well as all the new, innovative ideas she will bring to the campus and environment, but this ‘graduation’ into high school has affected Mrs. McClelland as well. Her excitement and genuine care for the students can be felt through her words and actions here at Burroughs.
“I want to say that I absolutely love being back at the high school level, where I started my teaching career,” Mrs. McClelland begins. “However, anytime a person starts a new job there is so much to learn. I felt a little overwhelmed at first, but Ms. Finneran, the principal of Monroe, was a wonderful mentor and prepared me for the transition. My new responsibilities are very easy to manage thanks to the wonderful systems that Mr. Houck, Mr. Auld, and Mr. Ostash have put in place. High school is much different from middle school in many ways – more testing, more students, more staff, and more activities. I really feel energized by the constant activity. One of the best things about being at Burroughs is to be able to work with all those students I taught in middle school!”
Finally, Mrs. McClelland shares with us her plans for the campus, and the ways in which she is planning on making an impact here at Burroughs.
“I am so fortunate to have come to such an exceptional school! My main focus for the year is to improve or at least maintain the 802 API score that our wonderful students achieved last year. My other goals are driven by that: to help teachers transition to the Common Core Standards; to assist parents in staying involved with their son’s or daughter’s education; to help establish more AP classes; and, to facilitate all of the yearly tests such as STAR, CAHSEE, and AP Exams. At this point I don’t see a need for changes at Burroughs, other than adapting curriculum to the Common Core. The students are achieving mastery on the standards and making some wonderful memories as they do so – that is the goal for all administrators.”
Although she is very busy making Burroughs an amazing place to be, feel free to stop by and say “hi” to Mrs. McClelland around campus, and to welcome her warmly onto our campus, as well as thank her for everything she has done for Burroughs, Murray, and Monroe!
Finally, for Burroughs news, the Parking Lot Auction started on Wednesday and continues through next Friday. Students who purchase a parking spot during this time keep their spot for the full year, and we would like to thank everyone who is participating and helping support our senior class!
Also, parking permits have started to come into effect; any driving student may purchase one at the front office, and they will get ticketed if they do not have their permit sticker displayed at the proper location.
Also, any students who are going to participate in Powderpuff have to attend the mandatory meeting next week; make sure to look for the posters on campus advertising when and where, as different classes meet at different times and locations.
For sports, girl’s volleyball has a home game on Sept. 10 and Sept. 12. Make sure to come and support them! Also, congratulations to the Burroughs tennis team for their hard-earned match last Wednesday against Oak Hills! Today, our incredibly talented cross country team has a meet, so make sure to send the players a small message wishing them good luck!
Finally, the very first progress reports are coming out next Friday, so keep an eye out for a letter in the mail as well as any guilty-looking teenagers trying to hide their electronics and valuables.