Peet principal takes position at high school

Jason Wedgbury, currently principal of Peet Junior High School, will take the Cedar Falls High School principal position next year as Dr. Powers takes on the superintendency in Bondurant-Farrar. I was able to ask Mr. Wedgbury some questions to get to know him and his plans for the high school.wedgbury

What influenced your decision to apply for and accept the high school principal position? In other words, why did you want the high school principal position?

I had been encouraged by a number of individuals including teachers, administrators, parents and community members to consider this opportunity. Cedar Falls High School has a great reputation and I believe it is a wonderful opportunity to expand my secondary experience as a leader. I am excited about the possibility of engaging in the construction process as our community evaluates the status of our current facilities and considers a new high school building. The next few years will be exciting as Cedar Falls Schools continue to improve facilities and move toward an environment for 21st century learning.

 

Can you briefly describe the application process for the high school principal position?

The process for my consideration of the high school principal position included stating my interest as an internal candidate for the position. Dr. Pattee and Mr. Conrad asked the high school staff to complete a profile for characteristics they desired in their next building leader. As a result of the determined profile, the executive cabinet reviewed the data and determined that I was a good fit for the needs of the high school in relation to the profile.

 

What did you enjoy most about Peet Junior High? What will you miss the most?

What I have enjoyed is directly related to what will be missed the most. The students, staff and parents are the most enjoyable aspects of my time at Peet. It is exciting that I will be able to continue these relationships with the wonderful opportunity to stay in the Cedar Falls school system. Peet Junior High is an excellent school where the staff work extremely hard to appropriately challenge students in the learning process. In addition, I look forward to building strong relationships with the staff at the high school as I seek to understand their current reality. The high school is headed in a positive direction and I want to support staff as we continue in this direction.

 

Are there any specific achievements or events that occurred during your time there that you are most proud of?

One of the most impactful aspects of a principal’s role is to hire well. I believe we have hired and supported very talented educators who have formed strong teams in the PLC process. A result of this is the implementation of Tiger Time as an avenue to allow teachers and students to work together in a common time during the day. The teachers at Peet are deeply engaged in the PLC process and they provide a quality classroom learning experience.

 

Do you know yet who the next principal will be at Peet? If, so, what are your thoughts?

I do not have any information regarding the next principal at Peet. Similar to the high school, I am sure that Peet will determine a profile for their next leader and that will guide the process for filling the vacancy. I have a high level of confidence that we will find the right person for the position.

 

What do you hope to see happen at Peet Junior High after you leave?

I expect to see Peet Junior High follow their continuous school improvement process. This includes supporting the areas that are going well and looking to improve in areas which need attention. The direction of Peet Junior High has been a very collaborative approach and I do not look for that to change.

Do you have any plans, goals or visions for your time at the high school? Are there any specific changes that you feel need to be made?

As I stated earlier, my immediate plans and goals include meeting with high school staff and seeking to understand the current reality at the high school. Education is a people business and I am motivated to begin building strong relationships and trust during the transition process. The vision that I have for the high school includes a common pathway with the district vision.  Establishing a shared vision at the building level, for how we will continue to enhance the learning experience for all students, is paramount.

 

What are your thoughts on the school’s new 1:1 technology policy with the chromebooks? How will you continue this during your time?

I am very supportive of integrating technology into the learning process and encouraging students and staff to take risks as they work to gain confidence with technology. We have an effective structure in place to support and fine-tune this process with the use of building technology leaders. The increase in accessibility for students to engage in 21st century learning is extremely valuable and I look forward to continuing this support.

 

The high school is, obviously, much bigger than Peet. How do you plan to adjust to the size of the school population?

I have experience working in a school with a similar size to the high school. As the number of people increases, the requirement for effective communication increases. It is my belief that you have to build capacity by empowering and trusting people and providing a variety of leadership positions within the school. It will continue to be my goal to be visible and accessible for students, staff, parents and community.

 

What are you most excited for regarding the high school?

I am thankful and look forward to the opportunity to lead another outstanding faculty who has earned an excellent reputation.  The next few years will be exciting as Cedar Falls Schools continue to improve facilities and move toward an environment for 21st century learning.

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