The Onamia Elementary Leadership Team (ELT) is hard at work this year encouraging achievement and community building among first- through fifth-grade students.
The team is composed of Teresa Lueck, Jessica Patterson, Dixie Peterson, Cyndi Martin, Roberta Kightlinger, Chelsea Junge and Jason Leonard.
Interim Superintendent J.J. Vold said, "The Onamia Elementary Leadership Team is a really strong core group of lead teachers at our elementary school and in our district. The ELT's main focus is on instruction. Their meetings are centered around instructional strategies, and the team looks at student data and ensures that our kids are always growing academically."
The ELT works with the Regional Center of Excellence to maintain best practice initiatives supported by the Onamia District. This year’s focus has been the Accelerated Reader program, a mentorship program, implementation of the new reading assessment, and community-building activities like bi-monthly “over-the-hump” gatherings.
The Benchmark Assessment System has given teachers information to help target specific reading needs. Teachers are able to have conversations with students about their reading on a personal level.
The group is implementing Project North Star, which helps draw attention to different students’ gifts. Any program that offers teachers strategies to reach all students is one worth supporting, according to Jessica Patterson, who teaches fourth grade and is one of the ELT leaders.
“Our school is doing great things,” Patterson said. “The ELT helps us stay focused and keep things organized as a building so that we can keep moving forward."
Second-grade teacher Dixie Peterson considers ELT an essential part of staff development at Onamia Elementary. “It gives staff an opportunity to provide important input for our school,” she said.
For first-grade teacher Cyndi Martin, the group lets new and veteran staff know they are valued, which helps to create a positive work environment. “We need a healthy working community for staff and students,” Martin said.
5th grade teacher Teresa Lueck stresses the importance of the ELT's work: “It is vital that all questions, concerns and comments are addressed in a timely manner,” she said. “It is our philosophy that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We strive to do our part for Onamia Elementary School.”
(Many staff attribute the successful revival of "over-the-hump" to Teresa Lueck's pumpkin spice bars with cream cheese frosting.)
Roberta Kightlinger, a Title I teacher new to the school this year, says ELT is important because it allows for communication across the entire building. “Open communication helps build community,” she said.
Elementary Principal Chelsea Junge sums up the importance of the ELT: ”Our Elementary Leadership Team ensures our school is providing excellent instruction for our students. We believe all students can learn at high levels. This team reflects on and determines what professional development and resources our team needs to provide quality instruction for every student every day."