Taking the show on the road…

When you are an administrator in our school district, the school that you work in is determined by central office. After three years at Holy Trinity, I am transferring to a different high school next year to continue my work as an Assistant Principal. When the phone rang a few months ago, I was told that I was moving because my new school needed a strong male presence on their admin team. As I pack my boxes, I have taken some time to reflect.

In the last three years here at Trinity, I have learned and experienced so much! After working as an acting administrator in two different high schools, I came to Trinity as part of a brand new admin team (a Principal and 2 other AP’s). Our Principal, is known throughout the district as an agent of school cahnge, both physical and cultural. We immediately started working on projects which have updated our school and, as a result, we have a fantastic facility. It is amazing and rewarding to look at pictures of the school, then and now…what a difference. For example, the school library has been transformed into an area that we refer to as Trinity Commons, or TC for short. We have a teacher who works full-time in that space, teaching kids how to research and collaborate. The out-dated books were replaced by computers and space for kids to work together or individually. The “shhh” of the library has been replaced by the busy noise of the TC…it’s great! Not only does the space look different, it also feels different. The entire staff has provided support to make this initiative a huge success. The TC is just one example of some of the changes which have been made. In addition, our Foods lab and CTS lab have been transformed into “state of the art” facilities. This school is a district leader in terms of technology and 21st century learning.

We have worked so hard over the last three years to take our school to the place where it is now. It is almost like this school is a child and I am walking away from it next year. I have seen this school community grow and mature in the short time that I have been here. When I made the commitment to become a school administrator, I knew that I would not be able to become “attached” to any one school…but it’s hard not to. I am thankful that I got to work with such an awesome group of students at Trinity. We came here together as they entered grade 10 from their respective junior highs. We will leave together as I move further north and they graduate from high school.

Now…I have the opportunity to take what I have learned here to another area of Edmonton. It is exciting, but at the same time…a little daunting and unnerving. Austin O’Brien is a school which is 20 years older than Trinity. AOB has an awesome staff and a tradition of high academics. The physical plant needs some work. This thought is a little unsettling until I think back to what Trinity looked like 3 short years ago. I will have the opportunity to meet and work with a new group of educators. I have learned that relationships is the key to an administrator’s success.

I am blessed to have the summer to prepare for the next part of my leadership journey. I am looking forward to some time to reenergize and get my head around the next stage of my leadership journey.

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About Derek Hatch (Hatcherelli)
Principal in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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