STEAMed Magazine July 2015 - Page 29

“We got in! I’m so glad that we are going to Wiley next year.” It’s a beautiful spring evening for the “Welcome Rising 6th Graders to Wiley Magnet” Event. Cars are up piling up in our limited parking lot. Teachers are greeting our guests with smiles and hugs. Community Partners are lined up on our back lawn area with swag, brochures and banners. PTA Parents are meeting, greeting and barbecuing. This is a scene that would have never happened six years ago at Wiley. Then, it was Wiley Middle School. Now, we are Wiley Magnet Middle School. Our Magnet Theme is STEAM. The school vision is now “Inspiring Innovative Minds with STEAM.” Currently, we have students on a Magnet School Waiting List. As I reflect upon this six-year journey, I am filled with many inspirational and uplifting moments resonating from the halls of Wiley. We are the only school in our district with STEAM as a magnet school theme. Additionally, we are a Title I School with a beautifully eclectic population. STEAM is a mindset approach in which we deliver standards-based instruction. As a principal and lead learner of a school, I have marveled at the amazing and creative things happening in our classrooms from Mystery Skypes to ProblemBased Learning Experiences. We have had guest artists interact with our students courtesy of our partnership with a local art museum known as SECCA (Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art). All of these experience are vital for any school implementing STEAM. What matters most is having the right people on board with the vision. Wiley’s success is due in part our people. What I mean by that is having a team of teachers in support of our vision. The vision for STEAM to inspire innovative minds served as a catalyst for a positive change in our school. “What matters most is having the right people on board with the vision.” 29