Patch recently spoke with Mrs. Louise Snyder, the new principal at Dale Street Elementary School, to welcome her to Medfield.
Mrs. Snyder has been interested in teaching since she was in elementary school and her grandmother, then a teacher in Sturbridge, brought home a teacher's manual and two Dick and Jane student books.
"I was in heaven. I tortured my younger brothers by playing the teacher for years. It was that experience that led me to want to teach," said Mrs. Snyder.
Read more about Mrs. Snyder...
What is your background in education? How will these experiences help you as the principal of Dale Street?
- I have a Bachelors in Elementary Education (Southampton College, Long Island University) and a Masters in Liberal Arts (Stony Brook) with a thesis on the gifted child.
- My teaching experience has been in grades 3-6. I have taught in RI, MD, NY, and MA. (My husband was a career US Coast Guardsman so we moved a lot.)
- I got my administrative certification from MESPA (Mass Elementary School Principals Assn) through Northeastern.
- I also completed the National Institute of School Leadership course in June. It was an intense two-year course that will help me in my work in Medfield.
What led you to a career in teaching and administrative work?
- My grandmother was a teacher in Sturbridge. When I was between first and second grade she brought home a teacher's manual and 2 student books of Dick and Jane books. I was in heaven. I tortured my younger brothers by playing the teacher for years. It was that experience that led me to want to teach. I love children and teaching was the best way to work with them. As an administrator, I still get to be involved with students but I also enjoy working together with staff and parents to create a special place for students to learn.
What are you looking forward to at Dale?
- Already, I have been surrounded by very dedicated professionals who are constantly striving to meet the needs of our students. I am looking forward to the staff challenging me and me challenging them to seek the best ways to meet the challenges this global world has for us and most importantly to create ways of thinking for our students to thrive in a world that we may not yet be able to imagine.
What improvements do you plan to make at Dale?
- I plan on getting to know staff, students, and families to talk about what is working and what can be improved upon. As we go forward, we will plan together what needs to be done. Immediately, we need to address the Massachusetts Frameworks 2011 in both ELA and math. We have a solid foundation of learning that needs to be adjusted for these new standards.
How do you plan to connect with students, faculty, and the Dale Street community?
- I will be having Principal's Chats to meet with parents. The first one is set for Sept. 6th at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. before the CSA meeting. At this meeting, I will ask parents to give suggestions on the best ways to communicate.
- I will also be sending out frequent communication through the Dale Street Dispatch, an informative missive with what is happening and parent education as well.
- The faculty and I spent two days together working on professional learning communities and will continue to unpack the learning standards for each grade level this year. For students, we will continue with the student advisory Council which is a forum for students to voice their ideas about school issues.
What do you think of education today?
- This is a very exciting time to be in education. There are many issues we need to address, but I think we are on the verge of some really great breakthroughs. We here a lot about what is not working but there are many wonderful things that are happening each day.
- I was in a classroom today where students were using a whiteboard as a matching game to get to know each other and where things go in the classroom. Technology will become a huge part of the learning model. Our adjustment to that model will be important for our country's future success.
- Here in Medfield, we are bringing both Spanish and Mandarin to our fourth and fifth graders. In a global world, our students will be at a disadvantage if they cannot speak other languages. We are addressing this.
More From Mrs. Snyder
- I love to walk and hike. I have two children, both who are married to people in the Army. they live in Texas and Colorado. I have two beautiful granddaughters (ages 2 and 8 weeks old). I grew up in West Brookfield, Mass. and am a middle child (I have one sister and four brothers). People would be surprised to know that I love video games, especially Wii (quests only, no guns!) though I do not have much time to play anymore.
Join Patch in welcoming Mrs. Snyder to Medfield. Do you have any questions for her? Words of advice? Tell us in the comment box below.