The vision for Des Moines Public Schools is “becoming the model for urban education in the United States.”
Towards that end, DMPS is always honored to share its work on the national stage, from being a pilot school district for the Turnaround Art program to hosting school districts from around the country to learn about our principal leadership work with the Wallace Foundation to earning top honors from the National School Boards Association for our efforts around educational equity.
And so, when the president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals wanted to visit DMPS, we said: absolutely.
Dr. Christine Handy became president of NASSP last July, heading up an organization that advocates on behalf of more than 30,000 middle and high school principals across the country. Handy herself is also a school leader, serving as principal of Gaithersburg High School in Maryland.
She’s very much aware of the work DMPS and other districts across the country are doing with the Wallace Foundation to improve school leadership. As she noted when she was elected president of NASSP: “The Wallace Foundation’s research shows that school leadership is one of the most important factors in a child’s education, second only to instruction.”
Handy spent a big part of the school day in Des Moines at East High School, where she “shadowed” principal Leslie Morris, visiting with students and teachers, including time with the future journalists in the classroom of teacher Natalie Niemeyer Lorenz.
After school, it was off to a meeting with DMPS administrators to talk more about ways to support and improve school leadership.
As Mike Vukovich, director of high schools at DMPS, noted: “It is always nice to have visits from fellow principals who have visited schools across the country and are invested in finding out how to better support principals in the field.”
Our doors are always open.