“Fred the Mailman” would be proud of District 50 employees Eric Hodges and Sindy Harris: they are the first two recipients of a special award to recognize D50 employees who go the extra mile in doing their job. They were both given lapel pens that read “I am a Fred.” Hodges is the Warehouse Manager for the District and Harris is the principal’s assistant at Hidden Lake High School.
So who is Fred the Mailman you might ask?
Fred was the mailman for author Mark Sandborn whose best-selling book, The Fred Factor profiles people who bring extraordinary care and dedication to their jobs. The book was used by District 50 staff to model its customer service program as part of a day long symposium for Education Support Professionals (ESP) at Westminster High School.
The District’s entire ESP staff was brought together to focus on their critical role in educating the children of District 50. The day consisted of large group meetings and smaller breakout sessions where employees exchanged ideas and examined the District’s priorities for the future. As they first arrived for the session, they viewed a video that showed District workers at their jobs. (You can see the video below).
ESP staffers also heard from Keynote Speaker Rhonna Cass, President of Chartwells, the food service company District 50 partners with to provide meals for more than 10,000 students. “You are the ambassadors for District 50,” she told the audience. “You are often the first one kids see and you set the tone for the day.”
The session also focused on competency in the work place, something Superintendent Pam Swanson talked about during her morning remarks. “Leadership comes at all levels,” said Swanson. She told the ESP staff that she is creating a Superintendent Support Cabinet so she can regularly meet with employees from all departments in the District adding, “I need to hear what you think about what is and isn’t working.”
The ESP staff examined the District’s ten “We Agree Statements” which outline the District’s philosophy and help guide decisions in and outside the classroom. The statements are below.
- We Agree to prepare students for the day after graduation and promote entrepreneurial thinking, college and workforce readiness.
- We Agree to respect our community through culturally responsive instructional and communicative practices.
- We Agree to create and maintain a positive district culture through clear communication and a demonstration of competency, self-accountability, mutual respect, and collective efficacy.
- We Agree to customize and demonstrate a balance of best instructional practices as outlined in the District 50 learner-centered, Competency Based Instructional Model.
- We Agree to promote positive and trusting relationships with all stakeholders, through honesty and transparency, where people come first.
- We Agree to expect our students and adults to be challenged through deep and critical thinking and problem-based learning opportunities at or above current levels of competency.
- We Agree to develop personalized learning pathways for students through collaboration, student ownership, goal setting and tracking performance.
- We Agree that we will better our craft through personal and professional development, collaboration and continuous improvement with specific professional goal setting aligned to the evaluation tool, using data, and the instructional model.
- We Agree to embrace technology as a tool to enhance highly engaged teaching and learning.
- We Agree that adults will provide aligned and targeted learning opportunities for students to read, write, speak, actively listen and think critically every day.
If you would like to nominate someone to receive an “I am A Fred” award, email your pick and details to Fred@adams50.org. Winners will be identified in future issues of the District 50 Insider.