Dr. Sandra Brower walked the halls of with a smile on her face as she became acquainted with the school, teachers and students on her in the district.
“I’m in awe,” Brower said. “The kids are just amazing. Just having witnessed the teachers and their craft, what I’m sensing, there’s a high energy.”
Principal James Handschuch gave the a tour, pointing out the school’s advanced technology and the strengths of the staff.
“I’m really impressed by the technology,” Brower said. “The facilities are beautiful.”
Following the tour, Brower held a meet and greet with the staff, in which she asked the teachers to call her “Sandy,” as she prefers the informality.
“My heart is in middle level education. That’s where I started,” she said.
Brower taught at Memorial Middle School in Point Pleasant for nearly eight years before her love for in-service learning drove her to became a business administrator, she said.
“I couldn’t be more honored to join your staff,” she said.
Handschuch, who has been working at the Lacey Middle School for four years, said he could still appreciate walking in on the first day.
“It’s exciting,” Handschuch said. “It’s always good to get a different view of things.”
Brower’s different experience will be a positive for the school district, he said.
“[Brower] has a lot to learn about Lacey Township…that will come in time,” he said. “The staff seemed to take to her very well.”
Throughout the rest of the week, Brower will be visiting the remaining schools, she said.
Posted on the school district website is an introduction letter. Brower also released her transition plan, which is attached to this article as a PDF.
Her mission statement, included in the plan, states that the duty of the Lacey Township School District is to “make student achievement its top priority and to educate and graduate responsible, compassionate life-long learners who have analytical skills, intellectual resilience, and respect for self and others.”
The plan is broken down into three phases:
- Phase I: Pre-Entry to Lacey- from Oct. 28 to Nov. 14, Brower was to meet administration and school principals, read and review district documents and policy, review student achievement data, ect.
- Phase II: Listening and Learning about Lacey- from Nov. 15 to June 2012, establish positive and collaborative relationships with identified stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, staff, the community, board of education) as well as develop symmetric communication opportunities.
- Phase III: Leading in Lacey- from mid-term report to February 2012, establish processes that enable collaboration and understanding of expectations; establish a cohesive leadership team focused on attainment of established goals and establish strategic priorities.
Brower plans to facilitate roundtables with students, conduct open forums with parent groups and school district staff, collect information through on-line surveys, meet with community groups and board members individually, and more.
“[The transition plan] will always evolve,” Brower said.
Regular updates on progress, including a mid-term report in February and a summary report in July, will be reported on the school district website.
Brower has more than 22 years of experience in public education as she previously served as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Freehold Township, a principal, business administrator and a language arts teacher at the middle school level in Point Pleasant.
Brower resides in Monmouth County with her husband where they are raising their 13-year-old son. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Education and a Masters in Administration Supervision and Curriculum Planning from Georgian Court University, as well as a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Continue to visit Lacey Patch to follow the school district’s progress during the transition phase.