After 20 years in education, with 19 in magnet programs, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to be the principal of Moore Square Magnet Middle School! Since June of 2015, I have looked forward to coming to work each day to collaborate with creative and passionate colleagues on behalf of the greatest group of kids in all of Wake County. Through our exciting elective offerings and our unique access to authentic learning activities in and around downtown, every day at Moore Square is filled with cutting edge instruction, creating the joy that comes from seeing talent and intellect develop in each of our children. We are happy that you have selected Moore Square to be your school family for the middle school years.
Prior to coming to Moore Square, I had 16 years as a principal split between only two schools: eight at Underwood GT Magnet Elementary and eight at Lincoln Heights Magnet Elementary. During that time, I developed relationships with families, graduating the same 5th graders whom I had ushered in to their first day of kindergarten. I believe that I do my best work in environments where I can establish and maintain close relationships with students and families. Being in schools for 8 years at a time has allowed that to happen. Being in schools that have been relatively small (never more than 600) has also allowed for close connections. When I can get to know parents, grandparents, extended family members and students, we are able to hit the ground running when it is time to get to work. I like being accessible to students and families, and smaller schools allow me to maintain an open-door policy.
As I said, all of my experience except my very first year teaching has been in magnet schools. I am a believer in magnet programs! I have seen first-hand the confidence magnet schools cultivate when kids are given choices. Students receive such a gift when they recognize that if they happen to feel unsuccessful in one endeavor, no need to worry, there are many other avenues in life one can explore. The courage our students gain when they try new things is an amazing trait to cultivate early in life. Students learn to take things in stride. They live a well-rounded life because they've seen so many possibilities. Students leave magnet schools with a clear idea that there are many things we all have to be proud of, and they feel an excitement to take on the new opportunities that life has waiting for them.
I've been lucky to experience great success so far as a principal. I believe successful schools stem from recruiting and retaining the best individuals. We all have strengths; we all have things that aren't our best assets. In the schools where I have worked, I have tried to fertilize the strengths of my colleagues and give them room to grow. Where staff members needed support and encouragement, I have tried to give it honestly and deliberately. When it is time to make decisions about our school, I always bring as many minds to the table as possible. The power of many brains has always been more effective to me than one brain. After 21 years, I have seen many times how a fresh set of eyes or a fresh idea can save the day. Bringing staff together for decision-making or interviewing or problem-solving also increases the degree to which teachers and staff feel a true connection to the school. When we increase that connection, community builds. When community builds, magic happens. Because I am not a mother, mentoring teachers as a principal and seeing their leadership skills grow and blossom has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my career.
In the next ten years, I would like to continue my work creating excellent public schools through a vibrant magnet program that exemplifies the benefits of diversity and choice. Through relationships and teacher leadership, I hope to create another school that has a long wait list! I am a product of public education, from the first public kindergarten in 1975 all the way to my doctoral degree from UNC- Chapel Hill. I am proud to be creating examples of excellence in public education so that parents around Raleigh make us their first choice. I am excited to be your principal and promise to give 100% every day to you, your child and the teachers of our school. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this fulfilling work.
Moore Square GT/AIG Magnet Middle School is located in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Students participate in three elective classes daily that span a wide range of topics from Chinese to Orchestra to Modern Dance. Through daily electives, students explore topics of their interest and identify their unique gifts and talents. By the end of their middle school experience, students have not only gained confidence in themselves, but have also had a robust and diverse learning experience creating a well rounded student poised to succeed in high school.
Moore Square teachers have been trained in teaching methods designed for gifted learners. Creating rigorous lessons that challenge each student at their optimal level of learning ensures high student engagement and schooling that keeps kids excited. When you visit Moore Square you will see students eager to get to class to participate in the next activity that has been designed to push their thinking.
Moore Square is unique due to our small size and sense of community. With less than 550 students, our school is truly a family. When you visit Moore Square, you will immediately notice staff and students all greeting each other by name. When parents need to contact staff or administration, our small size enables immediate accessibility. By being a smaller school, we are able to attend to the individual needs of each of our children. We believe that our relationships with our students their families allow us to do a higher quality of work.
We hope you will enjoy your visit to Moore Square. It is our pleasure to host you and demonstrate for you the outstanding work being done in one of Wake County’s greatest schools. We are proud of our students and their work in both their core and elective classes. We are excited to share it with you.
Moore Square Gifted and Talented/AIG Basics Magnet Middle School is a collaborative learning community committed to providing a rigorous learning environment that nurtures the gifts and talents of each child while preparing them for a 21st Century global society.
To inspire lifelong learning in our students while achieving academic and personal success. We provide all students with rigorous instruction and exploration through the incorporation of 21st century themes.