Greetings from Fishburn Park Elementary School and welcome to another new school year! I am proud to serve as the new principal of this wonderful school with its beautiful campus and its environmental focus. Here at Fishburn Park, we work hard to maintain fidelity to two missions, (a) continued excellence as defined through state accreditation, (b) promoting an environmentally conscious mentality, which serves as the foundation to green living and environmental stewardship. This dual-mission approach seeks to integrate environmental education into our standards-based curriculum. And in doing so, we are able to offer our students a unique learning opportunity.
Let me go ahead share alittle bit about myself, along with a brief history of how I ended up in such a dream community as yours. I grew up in central Pennsylvania. But after graduating with a degree in elementary education from Penn State University, Iwas lured by prospect of moving south and living by the beach. Thus, I accepted an offer to teach 5th grade at E.W. Chittum Elementary School in Chesapeake,Virginia. I spent 9 years teaching a diverse group of students, which focused on a range of learning styles that included gifted and special education inclusion. Shortly after moving to Hampton Roads, I married my wife, Jean, who joined me in Virginia as a special education teacher, 3rd grade teacher, and reading specialist. During our time down by the coast, I took the opportunity to earn a masters from The George Washington University in Education Leadership and Administration, started work on a doctorate in Education Administration and Policy Studies, worked as a team manager for the Destination Imagination competition, and served as an assistant coach for women's tennis at GrassfieldHigh School. Our last year in Chesapeake was a big year. In 2013, I accepted the city's award for Elementary School Teacher of the Year, we welcomed our first son (Timothy Joseph) into the world, and decided to move to the legendarily family-friendly City of Roanoke, where I accepted the position ofassistant principal at Fairview Elementary School. My two years at Fairview Elementary School were incredibly, as they introduced me to an incredible community of families in Roanoke, as well as a respectable organization that is Roanoke City Public Schools. 2015 was another big year, however. Our family welcomed our second son (Levi Erickson), and I was offered and enthusiastically accepted the position as principal at one of the most unique schools in the city, Fishburn Park.
Everybody dreams of loving their job, as well as where they work. I'm one of the few lucky ones who is living the dream. Coming to Fishburn Park was an incredible blessing. The students and families here are incredible in their desire to embrace our missions of academic excellence that is environmentally conscious. Parents and educators have a history of collaborating and solving problems in ways that are mutually beneficial. The teachers here at Fishburn Park continually work hard to demonstrate to ourstudents, your children, that they are loved, and that their uniquenesses are celebrated. Our staff members not only love their jobs, but embrace our ambitious missions at this school. Personally, I feel fortunate to work with such individuals who are dedicated to our students and to our environmental focus. The special events that are hosted by our school and the strong academic performance of our students serve as evidence of our commitment to our students and to our school.
I encourage each of you to join our PTA and become active members of our Fishburn family.