Graphic represents district leadership model

Shawn Hardy

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board recently adopted a graphic that is as a visual representation of the district's leadership model.

Various components of the district's mission, vision and approach to education are depicted in the graphic, designed by Eric Brennan, a teacher in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) department at the high school.

At its center is an image of joined hands and the word "empower," which signifies the district mission as: "A community invested in empowering our students to strive for excellence to succeed in the future."

The words surrounding the central image "remind us that it takes community, family, team members and students working together to empower our students for success," explained Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent.

The next ring of the graphic includes terms used in making decisions, such as implementing a new program: mission and vision; comprehensive plan; lead, guide and support; monitor and measure; and celebrate and improve.

According to Trail, the decision-making process includes:

  • Is it aligned to our mission and vision?
  • Does it relate to our comprehensive plan?
  • If both answers are yes, then as leaders we continue to lead, guide and provide support through a new program or new initiative, etc.
  • As leaders, we then monitor and measure our progress/results to see if changes need to be made.
  • If the program or initiative is going well, celebration should occur. If not, then we check to see where improvements need to be made in the process and then make those changes.
  • Communication and reflection should happen frequently throughout the deployment of a new program or initiative.

"Lastly, the core values of commitment, integrity, respect, standards and children first should be reflective throughout the process as well," Trail said of the words linking the steps together.

Trail also will use the common visual understanding of the leadership model as she continues the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence application. An evaluation based on Baldridge — a national framework for education, health care, non-profits, manufacturing and small businesses — completing the application by March 2020 is one of the goals Trail set for herself as superintendent last summer.

In August, she told the board Greencastle has a reputation for being a very good school district, but she hopes it is always striving to be better and wants to be great.

There is 50-page application and since 2002, only eight school districts have received the Baldridge Award.

The goal is not to get the award, but to see what the district does well and where it can improve, said Trail, using the quote "Good is the enemy of great," by Jim Collins in his book "Good to Great."