Principal's Message Principal's Message{a1474b88-e943-4771-be13-3b8882c5fdd4}<span>Dear Parents, Students and Community,<br><br>Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year! I could not be more honored or excited to be the new principal at Centennial Middle School.  I began my career in education in 1989 and after working at Horizons K-8, here in Boulder, as their principal for the past five years, and in many other capacities from teacher to camp director to assistant principal over the years in between, I am excited to join the team here at Centennial Middle School. I am grateful to be continuing my journey and love for all things schooling here at Centennial and I look forward to our work together as a community.<br><br>I wanted to share with you all a couple paragraphs from my cover letter in my application for this position…..<br><br><em>My experience has been grounded in shaping school cultures based on students, teachers, parents, staff, and administration all working collaboratively, from their strengths, to build safe, nurturing and academically challenging schools.  My enthusiasm is sparked by supporting teachers as they transform their classroom environments into vibrant learning communities where all our students are authentically engaged.  </em><br><br><em>My commitment, throughout my career, has been to develop and support relationship based instructional practices so as to motivate all learners, no matter their background, ethnicity, or ability level.  I bring with me a clear and established history of building communities in this way and would welcome the opportunity and challenge to bring this experience to support the long standing history of academic excellence and impactful student-teacher relationships at Centennial Middle School.  </em><br><br>I hope these help to share with you my mindset and passion for our first steps together.  Having grown up in Chicago as the youngest of eight siblings, I moved to Colorado in high school and one of my first visits was to Boulder.  I remember being deeply inspired by both the natural landscape and the stories of my older siblings who visited here in the early 1970’s.  I have worked in several school districts on the front range, and have intentionally worked to be in Boulder where I feel rooted and continue to be motivated to support young people as they find their way in our increasingly complex world, supported by such a thoughtful, forward thinking community.   <br><br>I have come to believe that schools are, first and foremost communities of learning, and in order to be a community I will seek to be intentional about developing and tending to trusting relationships. As the faculty, staff and I work to determine our priorities and set our goals together, we want you all to feel a part of our work.  I know we have several committees and groups whose work it is to ensure that this happens and I look forward to finding our way together.  <br><br>Years ago, as I began learning what makes for effective leadership, I called upon a heroine of mine, my Aunt Nora.  She was a hospital administrator for many years and is now in her late 80’s.  Her first piece of advice to me was to always remember that “you might know the music, but you don’t know the dance.”  This was her way of reminding me to stay humble, listen, understand what it means to be new-minded, and care to not make assumptions.  Working with adolescents over these many years has been a great way to keep this set of reminders fresh. They really could care less about what we think we know until they can trust how much we are willing to slow down and show them that we care.  I think this is true of communities also and my plan is to listen, learn, care and then contribute as it serves.  I invite you to join me in this journey of re-discovering as we remember who Centennial Middle School has been, is now and co-create what we want for our collective future.  <br><br>I look forward to meeting you in the coming months and partnering with you to support your child’s success. Please do not hesitate to contact me via email: <a href=""></a> or at (720) 561-2002.  And, stay tuned for an invitation to to join me for a one on one conversation as I will be sending appointment times out in the early Fall.<br><br>Sincerely, <br></span><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:"times new roman";color:#000000;background-color:#ffffff;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre-wrap;"><img src="" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:202px;height:43px;" /></span></p>John McCluskey<br>Principal<br><br> <br><br> <br><br><br><br>