New Faces Join JCSD Administration, TLC Team
Following a search and interview process, the Johnston Community School District will welcome Leigh Goldie as the new English Language Arts/Social Studies coordinator along with Karen Carroll, Melissa Grinstead, and Wendy Quam as the district’s respective Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) instructional coaches for special education, English language learners, and instructional technology.
Leigh Goldie, ELA/SS Coordinator
Goldie came to the Johnston Community School District and Timber Ridge Elementary in 2012 as one of four instructional coaches in the district. In 2014, she became part of the Teacher Leadership program. As an instructional coach, she worked closely with teachers to provide professional development, coaching, classroom management strategies, and assisted in implementation of high-yield instructional strategies.
Prior to her role as a coach, Goldie was an elementary teacher for Des Moines Public Schools. She holds a master’s degree in Education (Drake University), evaluator’s approval license, and a specialist in Educational Leadership – Principal Licensure (Drake University). A lifelong learner, Goldie will utilize her strengths in classroom instruction, data analysis, facilitation of professional learning, and teacher leadership in her new role as the district’s ELA/SS coordinator.
“Leigh has demonstrated passion for learning and growing in her current role as an instructional leader,” said Chris Bergman, Executive Director of Learning and Innovation. “She is highly respected by her colleagues, as she values collaboration and shared leadership and is always willing to support both students and teachers. Learning, reflecting, and growing are embodied in all she does, and we look forward to her serving on the learning and innovation team.”
As the ELA/SS coordinator, Goldie will be a part of the learning and innovation team and develop/implement the district’s reading, language arts, and social studies programs. Her new role will oversee the process of teacher-to-student instruction in the areas of reading, language arts, and social studies, and then the evaluation of student learning, using that data to guide classroom practice. She will create and facilitate professional learning focused on integrating student data relative to these areas of learning for increased student achievement. Goldie is replacing Debra Cale, who accepted a principal position with the Dallas Center-Grimes school district.
Instructional Coaches: Karen Carroll, Melissa Grinstead, and Wendy Quam
As a result of input from teachers, associates, and administrators, three new TLC instructional coaching positions were added for the 2017-18 school year: Technology, Special Education and English Language Learner. These positions will research, plan, implement, and facilitate professional and job-embedded professional learning to the respective staff members who serve special education and EL students, as well as technology integration. Additionally, the coaches will support instructional technology, special education and EL teachers through the collection and analyzation of student data to determine areas of needed instructional impact.
Since coming to the Johnston Community School District in 2002, Karen Carroll has taught special education students. As an elementary and grades 6-7 special education teacher, Carroll has collaborated on curriculum development and professional learning, targeted to special education teachers. She became a building-wide instructional coach at Summit Middle School in 2014 with the origination of the Teacher Leadership program. Now, she will target her skills and strengths to the special education population as the new special education instructional coach.
Carroll holds a master’s degree in Special Education from Drake University, along with the Master Teacher license credentials of special education consultant, K-8 instructional strategist, K-8 reading, K-8 social students, and K-6 classroom teacher.
Melissa Grinstead understands the shifting needs of students and families in the Johnston Community School District and will now be in a position as the
new English language learner instructional coach to help teachers district-wide create instructional strategies to help English-language learners flourish in the school environment.
Grinstead has served as an ELL teacher since 2009 and became a model teacher in 2014. She holds a master’s degree in Education (Viterbo University) and certifications in Elementary Education, Reading, and English as a Second Language.
Both Grinstead and Carroll will collaborate with building instructional leadership teams and the district’s Director of Student Support & Equity, Joy Wiebers, to identify and implement practices that further the district’s initiatives with these populations of students.
In her second grade classroom at Horizon Elementary, Wendy Quam sees instructional technology as an everyday necessity. Her passion for tech integration lead her to apply for the instructional technology coaching position within the district. She will join current instructional technology coordinators Ann Wiley and Chad Kennelly in their efforts to help all teachers fully integrate technology into their teaching practices.
Currently, students in grades 6-12 are part of the 1:1 iPad digital learning environment. During the 2017-18 school year, elementary classrooms will go to 2:1 with personal devices – a shift that will transform all facets of teaching and learning. Quam’s passion for technology, coupled with her strengths in leadership and learning, will add depth and quality to the district’s tech team.
Quam has a master’s degree from Iowa State University in Curriculum and Instructional Technology. She has been a teacher in the Johnston Community School District since 2005 and has most recently served as a model teacher with the TLC program. She is on the Horizon Digital Learning Environment team and has lead tech-focused trainings for educators.
“As a growing district, we must be in tune with the needs of our students and teachers,” said Laura Kacer, Executive Director of Human Resources and TLC site committee member. “Karen, Melissa, and Wendy have a tremendous amount of experience, both in their respective areas and as valued leaders amongst building staff. Their expertise will help all teachers refine their instructional methods, which in turn, impacts student outcomes. We look forward to this increased support and what it means for students.”
State funds from the Teacher Leadership grant are provided to cover salaries for any model teachers, lead teachers, and instructional coaches, in addition to dollars for professional development opportunities and materials. TLC funds will pay for Carroll, Grinstead, and Quam’s positions as well. No district general fund dollars are used to support the TLC program.
“The opportunities presented to Johnston teachers through the TLC grant have the potential to truly impact the ways we teach our students and the ways we learn from other educators,” said Corey Lunn, JCSD superintendent. “It has given the district money, resources, and time to work with teachers at the teacher level. If you want student achievement to increase, you have to focus at the teacher and classroom level.”
Pending board approval at the May 22 meeting, Goldie, Carroll, Grinstead, and Quam will officially begin their new positions with the start of the 2017-18 school year.