This summer, we hired many new faculty and staff to join our all-star cast. We are excited about the breadth and depth of experience they bring to Team FRCS. Hopefully, families have had an opportunity to meet them at our Open House, Block Party, Curriculum Night, or another activity.
In addition to our new hires, I would like to highlight three exciting leadership changes.
We spent August deep in a search for a new high school principal. I want to sincerely thank our past principal, Andrew Lay, for all he contributed to our school over the years. He was instrumental in many curricular and instructional initiatives, and he made a lasting impact on our school.
Faced with a challenge, including that of timing, I was impressed, not surprised, but impressed with the positive, respectful, and engaging way our HS department heads, teachers, and staff rallied to participate in a time-consuming process to find a potential new leader. I appreciate their “let’s get to it” attitude and….long story short, and as I have communicated previously, we found an experienced leader who was unanimously chosen from a long list of applicants: Mike Cournoyer.
Mike transitioned into his role in September. He is now full-time, actively engaged in the important work we do with students, staff, and families. In such a short time, he has brought energy, confidence, and a collaborative, respectful presence to the building. Welcome, Principal Cournoyer!
Dean of College and Career Readiness
Our Guidance Department Director, Dave Elsner and I have been working together for a long time. He has helped drive our guidance program, ensuring students are receiving outstanding supports while here at school and on their post-FRCS paths. This year, Dave is taking on a new role here as our Dean of College and Career Readiness. He will still oversee the guidance department, while also strengthening and expanding upon student experiences and learning as they prepared for life. Dave’s well-rounded experience and knowledge, I am confident, will serve our students and school extremely well.
Director of Teaching and Learning
My role as our district Superintendent requires significant time with large-scale initiatives, strategic planning, leadership development, legal, financial, and personnel matters, state reporting, and extensive collaboration with school board, community, and federal, state, and local officials. Oh, yes, and grumpily directing traffic in the parking lot. Fortunately, I also get to meet with students to hear directly from them on their learning and life experiences.
As we have grown, our needs to provide more meaningful enrichment as well as intensive supports are greater. While we make great strides in creating outstanding student opportunities – we continue to be recognized for numerous student and district-wide achievements – I strongly believe we need more thoughtful, proactive, and focused leadership on teaching and learning. I want to ensure the ongoing support of curriculum, instruction, and student culture and outcomes is supported as well as it deserves to be. It is essential we provide direct and immediate daily support to strengthen the teaching and learning environment.
In order to ensure all aspects of our district operations and teaching and learning environment are appropriately addressed, I am making an important and necessary adjustment to the senior leadership team.
Annie Azarloza, our current K-12 Director of Program Development and Evaluation, has provided important mentoring, coaching, and leadership, as well as coordinated various curricula, programming, pedagogy, and professional development needs of our district. Over the past 15 years, she has served FRCS as a teacher, department head, instructional leader, and district mentor and coach. After speaking with Annie over the summer, I believe she can best support the needs of our district by formally overseeing the K-12 instructional program. In her expanded role, she will lead and collaborate with our three Principals and Student Services Director, in creating a district-wide culture focused on supporting teacher and staff needs, creating outstanding learning experiences, and increasing student achievement.
Please help me congratulate Annie on her new role as our K-12 Director of Teaching and Learning. I am confident she is well-prepared with the knowledge and experience to excel and to help lead FRCS to a higher level of student achievement and growth.