Top row: Yoga for Stress Relief. Bottom row, left: Participants in the Aspiring Leaders Seminar. Center: Walnut Springs Middle School Resource Officer Erin Peachey. Right: Dr. Paul Hopkins, Executive Director, Human Resources/Employee Relations.
There were no classes in the Westerville City School District on Election Day, November 6, but buildings were still booming with activity as educators and support staff engaged in a number of professional development opportunities during Westerville Educator Day.
Teachers packed the classrooms at Westerville Central High School where more than 200 workshops were offered. Those who have demonstrated expertise in particular areas led many of the sessions. Among the choices was an Aspiring Leaders seminar for those with an interest in becoming a department facilitator, instructional coach, curriculum specialist or building/district administrator. It was presented by Westerville City Schools in partnership with Ohio Dominican University. Another highlight was a series of lectures by Dr. Anthony Muhammad, recognized as a leading expert in the areas of school culture and organizational climate. His presentation focused on the tenets of sustaining healthy, collaborative learning environments for staff and students. “No mater your role with the district, you contribute to the learning environment in our schools,” he advised.
Support staff gathered at Westerville South High School for courses like FMX Training, Yoga for Stress Relief, What is Your Communication Style?, Run, Hide, Fight and Gangs and Threat Awareness (conducted by Westerville police officers). Other sessions addressed the School Employees Retirement System, Health Aide Training, Google Mail, Cultural Diversity, Desk Ergonomics and a contract discussion for WESSA members. Roundtable discussions were provided for attendance clerks.
Professional development is a valuable way for staff to grow as instructors, learn from each other, identify best practices, and implement initiatives across the school district that have resulted in positive academic gains.