Dear Drury Students and Families,
I am honored to serve as Principal of Drury High School for the 2016-2017 school year.
In my eighteen years in the North Adams Public Schools, I have seen our high school evolve into a place where students are actively involved in their own educational choices, engaged in making progress toward mastery of rigorous standards by a supportive faculty, and encouraged to participate in a wide range of activities that will best prepare them for college and career.
Over the decades, I have performed a variety of duties in our district, from English teacher to Team Leader of the Mathematics department, from Dean of Curriculum and Instruction to chair of the Innovative School Committee, from Director of Technology to Assistant Principal. I bring everything I have learned in those roles to my new position as principal, but what excites me most about this school year is the opportunity for more students to reach higher levels of success than ever.
Our theme this year is Student Voice and we approach that theme with several goals: (1) to see and hear more students talking deeply about the content of their classes – to engage in higher-level thinking through inquiry and discourse – and demonstrating their depth of knowledge to their peers and their teachers, (2) to involve student leaders more actively in decision-making and climate-building within the school, and (3) to incorporate restorative practices throughout the school, providing greater opportunities for all students to help build a positive, supportive environment in all classrooms and create a culture of respect in which learning can flourish.
As I write this welcome letter, dozens of student ambassadors have already begun working to plan opening day orientation activities for new students, and, as a faculty, we will begin our professional development time at the start of school by training and collaborating to meet the needs of all students and promote student voice as a means of increasing achievement for every student in every class.
In the past few years, we have increased our Advanced Placement offerings to the point where the majority of our students take and succeed in college-level classes prior to graduation. We have increased our interventions for struggling students to provide more students with more support as they aspire to meet and exceed grade-level expectations. We have increased our graduation rates, ensuring that more economically disadvantaged students leave our doors not just with diplomas but with plans for the future.
But we know we can do more. And we know we need the support of the parents and the voices of the students to help us become a school in which more students reach unprecedented levels of success. Let’s all work together to make it happen.
Timothy R. Callahan