About Our Team Selection Process

Brian Gould’s teaching team introductory remarks at the 5/7/17 Open House for Grove Elementary:

 

My name is Brian Gould, I’m a Marine resident, and I’m a retired teacher. I was also a coach and evaluator of teachers. I have no stake in Grove Elementary except for recognizing the importance of having a successful and vibrant school in this community, so that’s how I got involved in helping with the hiring of these folks.

When hiring this staff, an important consideration for us was that we were not hiring seven* individual teachers; we were hiring a team.  As a teacher-powered school, it will be critical for the staff to work well together to make decisions in the best interest of the children and their families.

We also placed importance on fulfilling the mission and vision of Grove Elementary.  It’s important to remember: This school is not Marine Elementary. It is not Withrow. It is not St. Croix Prep North.  It is Grove Elementary, and it will have its own personality, its own culture, and its own unique needs and challenges, especially as a first-year school. So we needed to consider which candidates would be the best fit for this school, at this time.  

One thing these folks have in common is that they aren’t intimidated by the work that needs to be done before the school opens in the fall; rather, they are energized by the challenge.  As we toured this facility, which wasn’t as spic and span as it is now (thanks to the 100 or more people that showed up to clean yesterday), the candidates talked excitedly about the possibilities for the various rooms and for the outdoor space.

There’s a musician who lives just down the road. Perhaps you know him, a gentleman by the name of John Gorka.  John wrote a song called “Branching Out” and I thought of it when I was preparing for today because the lyrics seem fitting for this place and this time. The first verse goes:

When I grow up I want to be a tree
Want to make my home with the birds and the bees
And the squirrels, they can count on me
When I grow up to be a tree

CHORUS:

I’m gonna reach, I’m gonna reach
I’m gonna reach, reach for the sky
I’m gonna reach, I’m gonna reach
I’m gonna reach, till I know why.

I am confident that the students at this school, which is named for a group of trees growing closely together, will, indeed “reach for the sky till they know why.” And they will do so because of the excellent teachers that I now have the pleasure to introduce, the staff of Grove Elementary: A Marine Area Community School.”

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*Update: Due to a large community need and long waiting list, the Board of Directors for Grove Elementary voted on Saturday May 20 to add a section section for third grade for 2017-18. Hiring for a second teacher is now underway. Interested applicants can read the position description here, and start the application process here. 

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