A newsmaker you should know: Cornell teacher gives up classroom to reach more students
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Sarah Shaw loved teaching elementary school students, but she gave that up to become the new principal at Cornell Elementary School, a job she started Aug. 1.
Previously, the 30-year-old was a reading specialist and the reading chairwoman at the Hempfield Area School District.
"As an administrator you can reach more children," Ms. Shaw said. At her new school in the Cornell district, that's 360 students.
The job of a modern-day principal includes being an educational leader by helping teachers be better teachers, she said. "Professional development is a big part of the job" for teachers and administrators.
Her former district, Hempfield Area, is large. But at Cornell everyone will "wear a lot of hats," performing multiple duties, including writing grant requests.
One grant received from the Pennsylvania Department of Education will bring white asparagus, rainbow carrots, Asian pears and other fruits and vegetables to elementary students as snacks, Ms. Shaw said.
Rainbow carrots do come in a variety of colors instead of just the traditional orange, she said.
The fruits and vegetables will arrive three times a week with fact sheets, including where they were grown.
Ms. Shaw was pleased with programs already in place when she arrived, including the kindergarten boot camp and the after-school Pride Program.
The two-week boot camp occurred before school started. To ease the transition into classes, soon-to-be kindergarten students rode school buses, met their teachers, practiced writing their names and identified letters, numbers and sounds, Ms. Shaw said.
"I've never seen a program like this, and we get inquiries about it from other school districts," she said.
The after-school Pride Program gives students a menu of classes and activities to choose from with both "fitness and academic components," Ms. Shaw said. Choices include the Lego Club, the Lab Rats science experiments and sports, such as swimming.
First Published September 27, 2012 5:00 am