It’s been less than two months since Shawn Minnich took over as Northeastern School District’s superintendent. But things aren’t all that new – he was most recently assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, and he’s been as a member of the district since 1996, when he was a teacher.
“It’s been smooth so far,” he said of the transition, adding that he’s blessed to work with great people. “They care about the kids.”
I caught up with Minnich this week to chat before the first day of school, which is Aug. 27 for Northeastern.
First day: “Opening day to me is like Christmas,” Minnich said. The kids are so excited, he said, adding that the elementary buildings are the best place to be on day one.
But the first day has its stresses, too, like making sure the bus routes are worked out – and that the kindergarteners, who are likely riding a bus for the first time, know what’s happening. Parents sometimes have anxiety about the first day, too.
Changes in education: Minnich said work will be ongoing to implement a new teacher and principal evaluation system this year, work happening around the state. He anticipates that implementing that system will actually cost more than moving to the Common Core, new standards that have drawn fire around the state for reasons including cost. Teachers need to know what’s expected, and all administrators are becoming certified evaluators.
“It’s all these changes around one time … at a time when there are less resources to do this stuff,” Minnich said. “It’s good stuff … it’s just happening quickly.
What’s next? “I’m just excited to get in and continue working with the staff, parents, teachers and students, and really make the school district part of the community,” Minnich said.