‘Relentless Focus’ Pitch of Regional Schools Chief
Mackey Pendergrast kicks off Columbus Day in-services outlining goals for this year and beyond.
The West Morris Regional School District should be like Peyton Manning, or Paul O’Neill. Or maybe, considering the success they've had over the last five years, they should just continue to be themselves.
Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast addressed the assembled faculty with a power point presentation that showed some of the districts accomplishments and issued a challenge for the next seven months.
“We’ve seen a 45 percent increase in IB students reading and writing and advanced students reading and writing,” Pendergrast said. “But we need to close the gap for students who are not in the advanced program.”
According to Pendergrast, the regional district will be focusing on skills, disciplinary knowledge and “something else.”
“That something else is the teacher and the connections they form in the classroom,” Pendergrast said. “We have a very dedicated and talented group.”
But Pendergrast said that there were new challenges being faced by their students.
“4.9 million recent college graduates couldn’t find jobs,” Pendergrast said. “But there were 150,000 new technology jobs being created and only 14,000 graduates prepared for them.”
Pendergrast said over the next seven months he wanted the faculty to think of ways in which they can balance the vision of creating world class learners even though they struggle with the standardization that may restrict them.
“I don’t have all the answers. But I think we can find some together,” Pendergrast said,.
Pendergrast also related the story of quarterback Peyton Manning recording his practices and then going back out to improve upon his already excellent performance and added an anecdote about former Yankee outfielder Paul O’Neill, who used to draw eyeballs on his bat to help him focus.
“These are things for us to work on over the next year or two or three,” Pendergrast said. “I am a big fan of the story of the Wright Brothers because they embraced the pace of nature.”