STEAMed Magazine July 2015 - Page 31

supportive partners willing to do something with us. Our pitch was that we were looking to doing something sustainable, different and out of the box. This was music to the ears of these partners who were willing to forge new ground in supporting a school community. Finding the right instructional support is key as well in implementing STEAM. We reached out to Susan Riley and her team at Education Closet. They provided a targeted and personal level of professional development for our teachers and took the time to connect with our school. Having the right team in place is also necessary when failure permeates. The right team also has to have the right mindset. Our Sixth Grade Pilot was so successful in its implementation that our school district gave us the permission to apply for the federal magnet grant. This grant was valued at close to $2 Million. We formed a team and put forth many hours to prepare for and compose this application. Unfortunately, our grant application was rejected. One of the worst moments as principal at Wiley was preparing to face the teachers to let them know that our grant application was not accepted. We were to have an impromptu faculty meeting in our Media Center. As I walked in heavy with malaise, I noticed that the entire Magnet Application Team was standing in my usual spot for presenting at faculty meetings. One of the teachers on that whispered to me this: “We all stand together. Game on.” My so-called malaise disappeared. Our team of teachers dug deeper with a sense of urgency and we worked harder to bring Wiley to another new mission with STEAM. Soon after, our school district gave us the green light for Wiley to become a Magnet School. Implementing a schoolwide change is an overwhelming endeavor. It must be approached with a mindset that people 31