Welcoming our new superintendent
- My letter to the editor in Friday's "Enterprise."I am thrilled that Dr. Kris Harrison is coming to Irvington as our next school superintendent. I believe that he will bring us to the forefront of our nation’s public schools, and our children will thrive under his leadership.
Kris’s ability to lead was evident from an early age. As president of his college class, he managed a $1 million student activities budget. And, as a student teacher, he introduced classroom videotaping so that he and his peers could watch their “game tapes” and improve their teaching.
Today, Kris heads the Mendham Township School District, whose motto is “Every student, Every day.” In Mendham he has established “Professional Learning Communities,” a systematic form of collaboration allowing teachers to meet, analyze student data, and adjust their teaching accordingly. Mendham’s PLC’s have been so successful that teachers from other towns have joined them, and Mendham teachers are now helping neighboring schools set up their own PLCs.
The results have been evident to parents as well. After Kris held an Open House for parents of students attending private schools, twenty children returned to the schools Kris leads.
One of our questions during interviews was: how can our next superintendent help make Irvington one of the best public school districts in the country? This is a challenge that excites Kris. Mendham is one of the highest achieving districts in New Jersey, and raising a district’s profile is a process he understands. He told us that two initial steps are involved: first, arriving at a common definition of academic excellence for all students in the district; and second, setting goals that are both realistic and measurable.
I look forward to a new era of “watching our game tapes” and making our district mission statement – each student attains his or her highest potential for academic achievement – a reality for every student, every day.