Tag Archives: Trent Bowers

Trent Bowers, Superintendent

photo 1 (3) Today marks a new beginning for Worthington Schools.  It is the first day on the job for our new superintendent, Dr. Trent Bowers.  The transition will be seamless.  Trent was appointed to this position by the Worthington School Board in October after Dr. Tucker’s announcement that he was taking a position with Princeton Schools.  Since then, Trent has been working with the school board, administration, staff, students, families, and community to determine priorities and set the course for the future of Worthington Schools.

photo 2 (6)I’ve known Trent for a long time… since he was an adolescent hanging out in youth group with my brother-in-law.  I didn’t know him well then, or even when he was coaching my oldest in football at McCord, but I have come to know him well as our paths crossed once again when he returned to Worthington as an administrator.  Trent has been amazingly supportive of me on my own journey into administration and continues to provide me with a great “sounding board” when needed.

photo 3 (2)Worthington Schools enters a new era today that may one day be referred to as “The Bowers Years.”  I have no doubt that these years will be remembered as really great years for our district.  Here’s why…  Trent has deep roots in Worthington.  He attended Worthington Hills, Perry Middle School, and is a graduate of Worthington High School.  photo 1 (5)Trent, his wife, and three daughters live in the heart of Worthington and are deeply invested (personally) in the quality of our schools.  He has a clear passion for academic excellence and experiences that will help all children grow into well-rounded adults.  Trent models lifelong learning for the Worthington staff.  He understands and values relationships as the foundation of all that we do for kids.  He knows it is important that school is fun… #ForWorthington.

photo 2 (4)If you haven’t already met Trent, you won’t have to look far for an opportunity to meet him.  He’s everywhere!  And here’s the best part…  You are equally likely to meet him wearing a suit and tie at the WEC or a community meeting as you are covered in mud at the Warrior Run (even in 43 degree weather), flipping pancakes at Pancake Day, or riding a bike through the Gators Bike Park.  This Saturday, you’ll be able to catch him in the Worthington Hills 4th of July parade.  Invested… committed…  passionate.

photo 3 (3)School superintendent…  Worthington Schools…  It’s a tall order.  One thing I know for sure…  You will not find someone more committed to doing what’s best for kids in Worthington than Trent Bowers.  We are in good hands.  Happy first day on the job, Superintendent Bowers!

P.S. If you want to connect with the new superintendent you can follow him on Twitter @TBowers3 or read the district blog, Absolute Excellence.

P.P.S.  You might remember Trent’s acting debut in Granby’s LipDub a few years ago…  You can see it here.

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2012 in review

Ahhhhhh…  New Year’s Eve.  The one day of the year when confetti cannonsLipDub - confetti flies are socially acceptable.  I LOVE this day!!  It’s been quite a year filled with many blessings.  I can’t wait for 2013 as it is sure to be another amazing year at Granby!

I love blogging and keeping our community “in the loop” with all that is happening around here.  I think my new year’s resolution will have to be to blog more often.  There are so many wonderful things to write about!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  Thank you, Trent Bowers, for the referrals!

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy New Year from our Fine, Fine School!!

LipDub? Sure! Granby Gators “On Fire for Learning!”

Have you ever heard of a LipDub?  Well, I hadn’t until the idea of creating one at Granby was presented to me by Kristi Andrews, one of our wonderful Granby parents.  She had heard about Worthington Kilbourne High School filming their LipDub and asked if someone from Granby could go watch them shoot it that afternoon.  I had a meeting, but our Wellness for Life teacher, Rick Armstrong, was available and went to check it out.  A few days later, we met with Sandra Kucinich-Horn, the teacher behind the Kilbourne LipDub, for some more information, then pitched the idea to our Granby “Team Leaders” and the rest is history… well, sort of.

A project like producing a LipDub is one of those things that “it is what you make of it.”  It can be as simple or as complicated as you choose.  At Granby, we chose both.  Going into this project we had several goals…  highlight what is special about our school, enhance our sense of community by engaging staff, students, parents, and community members, integrate instruction with the LipDub, minimize distractions to learning, and have fun TOGETHER!  From where I stand, I think we did all of this, and then some!

Rick Armstrong, Tyler Hollinger (6th grade teacher), and I took on the task of engaging the staff, choosing the song (“We’re All in This Together” which captured the spirit of teamwork we wanted to convey), and planning the opening scene (“On Fire for Learning!”), LipDub route, and finale.  Sure, these tasks took some time, but I learned quickly that we are a deadly combination as all three of us have high expectations, think outside the box, and dream big!  We coordinated with the Columbus Fire Department (who were wonderful!) and asked Trent Bowers, our assistant superintendent, to play a role.  Michelle Tighe (1st grade teacher) invited Granby parent, Jerry DePizzo from the popular band O.A.R., to participate and he was happy to do it.  It’s amazing what you can make happen by just asking!!  I won’t divulge some of the other “big dreams” that we pursued as we are still hopeful that we might be able to put those into action somewhere else.  (If I say “for next year’s LipDub”, I think I’ll probably turn up missing…)Now here is the really AWESOME part of Granby’s LipDub.  We threw it out there to the rest of the staff to plan their participation in it.  “Whatever you want to do!” is pretty much what they were told, and they ran with it!  Grade levels, individual classes, special student groups, and related arts teachers rocked it out!  We posted a sample video in a shared file on our building server so staff could see what it might look like when we passed through their assigned space and where we would be in the song and asked them to post what they would be doing so we didn’t have overlap.  That’s it.  We NEVER practiced the whole LipDub… EVER!  We did have the videographer (Tyler) share with staff how it would be filmed and practiced with our soloists to make sure we had them in the right place at the right time, but that’s about it.  None of us had the “big picture” of what it would all look like in the end.  We just trusted the process and counted on everyone to do their part… and did they EVER!!

We filmed the LipDub just last week (tried to do it in two takes, but ended up with a third), recorded some audio to dub over on Monday morning, finished (as Rick had been working on this for days…) the painstaking task of editing the footage on Monday night, and held our “World Premiere” Tuesday night for our Granby family.  It was a full house as students, staff, and parents packed into the Granby gym to watch this short video.  What a celebration!  We had the opportunity to thank Dr. Bowers for busting out his acting debut (and willingness to be “redonkulous”) in our LipDub.  Our other special guests were unable to join us (we’ll forgive CFD engine 27 for choosing saving lives over being with us), but we’ll make sure we thank them appropriately with an embossed certificate and limited edition “Granby LipDub” shirt.  That’s almost as good as an Oscar or Grammy, right?  Hey, we’re a public elementary school… just saying.

I’d just like to warn everyone of a potential flash flood down Hard Road as Gator pride is overflowing right now.  We were already on a “school spirit high” after our filming day as the process itself was an amazing gift.  The scene of about 500 of us together all dressed in Gator Gear and cheering “Granby Rocks!” as we launched confetti cannons and the incredible collaboration of the whole school taking their “places” during the film shoot was AWESOME!  However, we had no idea that the final product would turn out as good as it did.  This week, I attended a conference where the speaker shared a definition of TEAM as “a group of people who refuse to let each other down.”  Now, I know that our Granby Team is much more than that, but this definition sure hit home as EVERY SINGLE staff member and parent volunteer did whatever they could to make the LipDub wonderful.  We’ve shared lots of laughs and a few tears (happy ones) along the way and have grown very close on this journey that still isn’t quite over.

It’s been an incredible couple of weeks and so much has happened since Tuesday night that includes a YouTube launch, TONS of feedback, T-shirt orders, a news story, and much more!  But that will have to be a post for another day.  Right now, I couldn’t be more proud of our Fine, Fine (Incredibly Amazing) School!!  It’s great to be a Granby Gator!  Granby ROCKS!!  Enjoy our LipDub!

Happy Boss’s Day! Edugator Spotlight: George Joseph

“You’re not the boss of me!”  Although I haven’t heard these words from a child in a long time, I’m sure they continue to be used to communicate independence and an unwillingness to let someone else make decisions.  (Or maybe I just think they still say this, but it’s really outdated like “groovy”, which would explain why I haven’t heard this in a long time.)  As a child, this was my only understanding of boss as my father was self-employed and never talked about his “boss.”  Bossy (being “boss-like”) has never had a positive connotation either.  So who really wants to be a boss anyway?

Today is Boss’s Day.  Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a Hallmark holiday.  It is a holiday designed to thank bosses for being fair and kind throughout the year.  I have been blessed.  For those of you who know Jim Baker (retired Worthington principal), you know that I was lucky to have had Jim as my “boss” for 23 years.  He was fair and kind… and far from bossy!  In my role as instructional coach last year, Vicki Hartley (coordinator of Academic Achievement and Professional Development) was my boss.  Blessed again.  Fair and kind!

This year, I have a new boss.  George Joseph, Executive Director of Administrative Services, is my supervisor.  And you guessed it – blessed again!  Fair and kind…  supportive and collaborative…  compassionate and caring…  positive and helpful…  I could go on.

I first met George many years ago when he was the principal at Colonial Hills and I was just beginning my leadership journey.  He was quick to welcome me into administrative meetings and discussions and has always been readily available to share his wealth of knowledge with me.  As Jim Baker’s supervisor for many years, George worked collaboratively with the leadership team at Liberty often and included me in planning and discussions that would enhance my leadership skills.  He is endlessly positive and has a deep commitment for doing what is best for

Trent Bowers, George Joseph, and Jeff Maddox @ Battelle for Kids Training

kids.  George has supported me in my administrative journey over the years and has seen me at my professional highs and lows.  In every interaction I have had with George, I have found him to be genuine and caring.  When I call on his expertise, he is quick to respond, listens attentively, and problem-solves with me.  Who could ask for more in a boss?

This morning I will be calling George to talk through a decision that will have an impact on students.  I know that when I pick up the phone, he will ask me how things are going and have collaborative discussion with me about this decision.  What the final outcome will be, I do not yet know.  But one thing is certain…  we will make this decision together and it will be in the best interest of students.

So here’s to you, George Joseph!  Happy Boss’s Day!  A fine, fine boss for A Fine, Fine School!

P.S.  It seems that the staff at Granby have mistaken Boss’s Day for “National Confetti Day!”  Thanks for making it special.  You’re the BEST!

Gator Gathering: Opening Ceremonies

On Monday afternoon, we had the opportunity to celebrate having all of our Granby Gators in school together with an “Opening Ceremonies” assembly.  It was an Olympic-themed celebration to kick off our year.  Starting with sixth grade, each grade level of students followed a banner carrier to the gym with “Bugler’s Dream” playing in the background.  As the gym began filling up with more students, the applause grew louder.  By the time “The Nation of Kindergarten” was announced, the applause was tremendous!  What a wonderful way to welcome our new “kindergators!”

Once all of our Gators were gathered, the very special, super secret, guest torch bearer appeared with the Olympic Torch.  The crowd went wild as Granby’s very own super-hero, star of stage and screen (well maybe not, but at least the star of a set of health-related videos in the Granby Elementary library), Wellness Man, entered the gym and addressed the students.  It’s a good thing he has a cape for flying and purple tights to keep his legs warm as he had to travel 3,688 miles from London to get to Granby!

The assembly proceeded with the Pledge of Allegiance and our very own Granby Pledge followed by everyone singing Granby’s version of “We Are Family”…  pretty cool.  Student representatives from each grade level presented the BASIC School virtues and what they mean.  These were added to our Olympic “Rings of Virtues” as a reminder of the character traits each Gator will strive to demonstrate both in and out of school.

New Gators (both students and staff) were recognized and welcomed with a big round of Gator applause.  The “Granby Spirit Song” was quite touching (and would have had me in a puddle on the floor if I had allowed myself to take it all in) and I am looking forward to going back and watching video of that.

I had the special honor and privilege of announcing, “I declare this, the 25th year of Granby Elementary School and the 2012 -2013 school year officially open!”  Wellness Man (who returned for an encore appearance) joined me in declaring, “Let the learning games begin!”  Then, he took his “torch” (AKA confetti cannon) and twisted it high up in the air… nothing.  Clockwise, counter-clockwise… nothing.  I put the microphone down and gave it a try… nothing.  “Wellness Man needs to work out some more!” I declared.  “This is why Wellness Man doesn’t make live appearances!” was his reply.  And then, he summoned his super-human strength and BAM!!!!!  Confetti flies across the gym and the kids cheer!!

We wrapped up the assembly with the cheerful voices of 430+ students singing “Let the Games Begin!”  What a wonderful ending to the beginning of what promises to be an olympic-sized year of learning for our Granby Gators.  Let the learning games begin in this Fine, Fine School!!

* A special thanks to our Opening Ceremonies planning committee: Leslie Ritter, Aquarius Hopkins, Cindy Schlarb, Dori Easley, Melanie Ness, and Rick Armstrong.

P.S.  Trent, now would be a good time to send over that extra custodial help!

A Gator Welcome

Tuesday evening I returned to school for a meeting and was shocked when I walked into my office.  The table, desk, and filing cabinets were covered in confetti!  I took a quick gasp, followed by laughter and I knew right away I was at home. Someone (Trent Bowers and Susan Drake) had tipped off the Granby staff that I had an obsession with confetti… let the games begin!  A desk full of confetti?  To me it says, “Welcome to Granby!  You belong here.”  I belong in a place where folks work incredibly hard to do great things for kids, but also take the time to build relationships.  I belong in a place where helping students grow is serious business, but we know how to have fun, too.  I belong at Granby!

Yesterday, we took some time midday to do just that.  The Granby staff organized a welcome luncheon for me and we had a great time sharing stories, getting to know each other (who knew we had a staff member whose secret dream is to race a school bus?), and laughing.  It was great to watch two of our male staff members being awesome dads to their adorable sons.  At Granby, personal families are extensions of our school family.  Gotta love that! It was also a wonderful opportunity for staff to meet several other new faces at Granby and give them a warm Gator welcome as well.  Thank you, Tina Swearengin and Rosie Roberts, for organizing this!

We’re still over a week out from the start of school, but the Gators are working from sun up to after sundown getting ready for the BEST YEAR EVER!  No doubt, we will all be working hard and having a lot of fun along the way.  Thank you all for making me feel like I belong at Granby… A Fine, Fine School!