Q&A with new Stockdick Jr. High principal, Ann Lalime

By R. Hans Miller | Times Senior Reporter
Posted 5/8/20

During its April 27 meeting, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees promoted Ann Lalime from principal of Golbow Elementary School to principal of Stockdick Junior High School. Lalime holds a Doctorate in …

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Q&A with new Stockdick Jr. High principal, Ann Lalime

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During its April 27 meeting, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees promoted Ann Lalime from principal of Golbow Elementary School to principal of Stockdick Junior High School. Lalime holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University and began working in education in 1990 with Katy ISD. She has taught third through sixth grade students and has been serving as principal of Golbow since 2009.

Katy Times asked Lalime several questions about her plans for Stockdick once she walks into her new office this fall.

Q: What are you most excited about as you move into your new role at Stockdick (SJH)?

A: I am most excited about the challenges associated with working with junior high students. It is an age group, which I love, and I am grateful to be entrusted with the opportunity to work with them. Personal interests are developed during the junior high years, so it is important for students to have opportunities to realize their talents and to find their passion as they mature. That is why I intend to provide as many opportunities as possible for them to do that at SJH and I am excited to have the opportunity to watch students grow and be successful in those pursuits.

Stockdick is a strong Katy ISD school community with a mission and vision already in place with which I am in total agreement. Being a community of leaders and learners, developing the whole individual through choice, challenge, and feedback, and leveraging digital tools to create the future, has been Stockdick’s mission and vision and I intend to build on the successes already evidenced in achieving those goals. I chose to be a part of the Stockdick community six years ago, so I have a personal and a professional interest in the quality of education at this school and there is no greater honor than to be chosen to serve the community in which you live.

Q: You were already a principal in the district. What made you want to pursue the principal’s position at Stockdick Junior High rather than staying at Golbow Elementary?

A: Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a principal. I admired and respected the individuals in my life who were my principals. My education and experiences in work and in life prepared me to enjoy leadership opportunities and to enjoy students of all ages, and I have loved everything about serving as a principal at Golbow.

Accepting the position as principal at Golbow Elementary eleven years ago was a new challenge for me, and it has been an incredible journey. Along the way so many educators, parents and community members joined in that journey and we have worked together, cried together, laughed together and had fun together. Through it all, we bonded as a force in the community to guarantee quality education for every single student in a safe and caring atmosphere.

As I look back on my own education, I realize how important those junior high years were for me in realizing talents and expanding my horizons, so I would like to be able to use my leadership skills to work as a junior high principal which will provide me a new and challenging opportunity.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you see for Stockdick as you move into the principal role and how can parents and students help you overcome those challenges?

A: The biggest challenge will be transitioning back to the campus and providing support for staff, students and parents who have experienced unusual circumstances due to COVID-19. Nothing has been more disruptive than being off campus for the last nine weeks of the 2019-20 school year.

The online learning experience has been rewarding for the students, but the personal relationships, which are such an important part of the educational experience, have been missing. It will be vital to provide opportunities for students to socialize and interact with each other and with their teachers because building relationships with students is a game changer.

Students can assist by doing their best work; parents can assist by communicating effectively with school staff; all adults can assist by providing positive encouragement and support which is so important for junior high students. Together we can focus on the social and emotional well-being of each other and fill the gaps, which might be there because of the unusual last nine weeks of the school year.  

Q: What will you be doing over the summer to prepare for the 2020-21 school year as principal at Stockdick?

A: Preparations during the summer for the next school year are always challenging for a principal. I will be following the district protocols that are in place.

Getting to know the SJH staff members will be unusual since I plan to meet them over Zoom to collect valuable input before I meet them in person on campus. We will do our best to become acquainted personally online.

There are staffing needs to fill so interviews to select the best candidates will be ongoing; a master schedule for the 2020-21 school year will be developed; intervention placements for students will be reviewed and completed; a campus needs assessment will be crafted for the campus improvement plan; professional development for the upcoming school year will also need to be addressed and completed. I anticipate a very busy summer!

Q: Are there new programs or initiatives you would like to start at the school this next school year?

A: There will be a new district wide reading program called Lexia to provide intervention for the 6th-8th grade students. I will be working with the SJH instructional leadership team to develop a plan for students and staff to utilize and implement this new program.

This will be the second year for the new state ELA TEKS in Texas for sixth through eighth grade students, so I will continue to provide staff development and support for the teachers. There is blended learning for reading and writing in the sixth and seventh grade ELA classes which gives the students the flexibility to have choice in reading selections.

The district is purchasing a new advisory training curriculum for the 2000-21 school year for 6th-8th grade students. Time will be provided for the staff to review this new resource, and the SJH instructional leadership team will also work to develop a plan for its implementation.

We are implementing Character Strong, and SJH will continue in its second year with this social emotional learning piece for students. Continuation to build on Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) will also be an important campus endeavor.

Q: As principal, what will you do to encourage students to pursue STEM and trade professions?

A: I consider this an important focus for our students. Counselors and teachers will be encouraged to increase awareness of students who should be enrolling in these courses and the courses will be advertised for enrollment.

As principal, I will continue the career and technical education (CTE) courses that are currently available to SJH students. As an addition, the possible initiation of a Robotics Club is being considered.

There is already a strong and rigorous math and science curriculum for students, which I will continue to encourage and will work to include coding, which is a highly sought-after skill right now.

Several courses exist which students will be encouraged to consider. Principles of Applied Engineering falls under the STEM endorsement and is the first course in the engineering course of studies. Principles of Manufacturing falls under the business and industry endorsement and will include a computer aided design course. Principles of Human Services falls under the public service endorsement and is the first course in the human services program of study. Information Technology Program of Study falls under knowledge for computer science programs and industry based programs offered in high school. It includes offering web communications and touch system data.

Q: As you move onto Stockdick, what message would you like to send to the students and parents of Golbow Elementary?

A: It has been an incredible eleven years as the principal of Golbow Elementary. I have grown and learned so much from my Golbow experience.

We have walked through an entire campus renovation, grown in technology through Smart Boards and student devices and bridged the technology gap so that each student can check out devices to use at home.

I have watched so many Blue Jays grow up and graduate from high school and go on to college or other worthwhile endeavors. The Golbow community became my extended family and, as I have met with students yearly to discuss your individual academic progress and have shared your progress with parents, I have been so impressed by your willingness to celebrate your successes and to work to achieve growth in needed areas. It has been such a pleasure to be a part of the greatness that the students represent and I encourage you to continue to work hard to be your best. 

Golbow has been successful because the students have done their best, parents have communicated effectively, and the entire staff has been supportive by providing a safe and caring learning environment. We have built meaningful relationships together which will be a part of our precious memories. I want you to know how much I love the Golbow community and how grateful I am for my Golbow relationships and experiences. Although I will miss serving you as principal next school year, I will see some of you again when you transition from junior high to Paetow High School. I only wish we had been able to finish out this year at Golbow in person. Best wishes to each of you!

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