With plenty of new faces—including its two top administrators—Hockinson Heights Elementary has been focused this fall on building community.
The moment students arrive, staff members are there to greet them. Often the greeters include Principal Josh Robertson, Assistant Principal Chuck Sheron and instructional coach Kristin McEnry.
“That first positive interaction helps students have a little bit better day,” Robertson observes. “Now they say ‘hi’ and give me high fives.”
Another way the school is building unity is by establishing a student council. A team of teachers is working to start the group, which will draw two student representatives from each classroom.
“My vision is to give students a voice and opportunities to lead and to make their school—our school—better,” Sheron says. “We’re going to build this together.”
Meanwhile, staff are collaborating in Professional Learning Committees focused on student learning.
“If we look at what students are learning by looking at data,” Robertson says, “we can use that to inform our teaching.”
Later, teachers will review fresh data to see what teaching strategies are working best.
As they settle into their new roles at HHES, Robertson says he and Sheron are doing a lot of listening.
“We’ve had a lot of parents coming to us,” he says. “We’ve taken advice from the community.”
Before they were Hornets …
Principal Josh Robertson taught grades 1, 2, 3 and 5, and also served as a reading specialist at Image Elementary in Vancouver’s Evergreen School District.
Fun fact: He was a Hornet in grades 3 to 6!
Assistant Principal Chuck Sheron has worked as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal in both public and private schools in Washington and Oregon, and came from King’s Way Middle School in Vancouver.
Quote: “So far, the only surprise has been all the hugs from students. Our kids are great!”