New face at HW
Wed, 08/15/2018 - 1:17pm admin
—Smith takes over Student Services/Sp.Ed
Marcie Klomp News Editor email@example.com
CRESCO - Ann Smith has taken over as Director of Student Services and Special Ed formerly held by Therese Jurgensen and has already been meeting with families and connecting with teachers and staff. “I want to be in the community and be visible for everyone, so people feel they can approach me,” she said.
Smith is excited to be at Howard-Winneshiek and feels like she has come back to her roots. She is a Luther College graduate and substitute taught at Ridgeway, Elma and Cresco at H-W, as well as at Waukon and Decorah.
“I have been intrigued by Cresco for quite a few years. It is close to both our families.” Smith is married to Jeremy, and the couple have a sixth grade son, Domenik. They are currently renting in Decorah.
The new administrator transferred from Fairfax, where she worked at College Community School District for the past five years as a building facilitator. She oversaw Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), attendance, worked with the guidance counselor, social/emotional learning and the overall climate and culture of the building.
“When students were struggling in or out of the classroom, I was the contact person. I worked with students, parents and associates and provided professional learning for staff. Prior to that, I was a special education teacher for five years.” The nine years before that, she taught special education at Clinton, Iowa.
“I’m passionate about educating our whole child. Academically we want to provide all with the opportunities available to them. We want to find their strengths and build off that.”
Smith wants to use her own experiences with children to help How-Winn students be successful. “I came from a building rich in diversity. It was awesome how kids learned from each other. Empathy grows when you can work with different kids.”
Her short term goals are to build relationships with students, families, the community, teachers and staff. “Everyone will help me learn the different facets of this area and help me grow.” She feels her long term goals are about the same as her short term ones — continue to enrich students’ lives by providing them the tools to be successful.
She is happy her goals tie in with Howard-Winneshiek’s goals of pushing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math).
“This district is all about what’s best for kids, which is what has drawn me here.” The district should be glad to see the school scored another top-notch educator whose main goal is doing what’s best for the students. After all, the students are our future.