Principal - September/October 2019 - 41

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Nothing but Net
A

former college basketball player at the University of Arkansas, Stephanie
Worthey has brought her "A" game to the elementary level as principal. In
opening Greenbrier Springhill Elementary in Greenbrier, Arkansas, she helped foster a connected school climate with teachers funneled from several different schools.
Worthey's successes extend beyond the school culture, as well. She spearheaded
Springhill's award-winning literacy program and won recognition as a 2018 NAESP
National Distinguished Principal. She has gained plenty of wisdom during her career
and has plenty to share.

On opening a new school

My focus during the building of the foundation for Springhill Elementary was directed
toward relationships. One of the first activities we did involved my grouping the staff
in their new grade-level teams or specialty areas and having them stand outside a hula
hoop. I had them introduce themselves and gave them several sentence-stem starters
to begin the process of getting to know each other. Then I asked them to all step inside
the hula hoop with their new team. I could immediately see the panic on their faces
and how uncomfortable they looked.
I had them step back outside the hula hoop and asked them how they felt when
they were standing that close to each other. They were honest-they said it was
uncomfortable because they didn't know each other well. At the end of the year, we
did the activity again, and when I asked them to step inside the hula hoop, they all
began hugging each other, laughing and smiling. It was a great reflection on how
far we had come.
On being engaged physically

I have always believed that students need to be taught how to live a healthy life,
and being physically active should be a part of their educational experience. When
students are healthy, not only do their bodies work more efficiently, but their brains
also benefit. When designing systems for our students, I try to incorporate physical
activity whenever possible to show them that being physically fit can be fun.
On what she's learned from improving her school's programs

I always tell other administrators to take ideas from other people and make them
work for their students, since each school has different needs. Make the schedule
fit the students; don't fit the students into the schedule. Simple steps that could be
considered for elementary students are:
Start with special education minutes first;
Limit out-of-general-education pullouts;
Schedule tiered interventions in the morning, when students aren't tired;
Offer enrichment (gifted and talented) opportunities through project-based
learning, but limit out-of-classroom time; and
„ Schedule opportunities for struggling students to connect to the school
through means other than academics.
„
„
„
„

On what she does outside of school for fun

My husband, Dustin, and I are usually tag-teaming practices and games for our
four kids. I love working out. My health has to be a priority if I am going to perform
at my best, and CrossFit is a huge part of that balance. I also love to read books!
During the school year, I read only educational books, but during the summer,
I sneak in some reading for pure enjoyment.
Photography by Lifetouch

Principal n September/October 2019

41



Principal - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - September/October 2019

From the Editor
Snapshots
5 Things
Getting to Why
A Brighter Future for Personalized Learning
Models of Voice and Choice
When Rural Gets Personal
Research Roundup: The Personal Touch
New Sensation
The Language of Learning
Giving Back, Together
In the Spotlight
Practitioner’s Corner
Early Career
Raising the Bar
The Reflective Principal
Speaking Out
Parents & Schools
NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Principal - September/October 2019 - 1
Principal - September/October 2019 - 2
Principal - September/October 2019 - 3
Principal - September/October 2019 - From the Editor
Principal - September/October 2019 - 5
Principal - September/October 2019 - Snapshots
Principal - September/October 2019 - 7
Principal - September/October 2019 - 5 Things
Principal - September/October 2019 - 9
Principal - September/October 2019 - Getting to Why
Principal - September/October 2019 - 11
Principal - September/October 2019 - 12
Principal - September/October 2019 - 13
Principal - September/October 2019 - 14
Principal - September/October 2019 - 15
Principal - September/October 2019 - A Brighter Future for Personalized Learning
Principal - September/October 2019 - 17
Principal - September/October 2019 - 18
Principal - September/October 2019 - 19
Principal - September/October 2019 - Models of Voice and Choice
Principal - September/October 2019 - 21
Principal - September/October 2019 - 22
Principal - September/October 2019 - 23
Principal - September/October 2019 - When Rural Gets Personal
Principal - September/October 2019 - 25
Principal - September/October 2019 - 26
Principal - September/October 2019 - 27
Principal - September/October 2019 - Research Roundup: The Personal Touch
Principal - September/October 2019 - 29
Principal - September/October 2019 - New Sensation
Principal - September/October 2019 - 31
Principal - September/October 2019 - The Language of Learning
Principal - September/October 2019 - 33
Principal - September/October 2019 - 34
Principal - September/October 2019 - 35
Principal - September/October 2019 - Giving Back, Together
Principal - September/October 2019 - 37
Principal - September/October 2019 - 38
Principal - September/October 2019 - 39
Principal - September/October 2019 - In the Spotlight
Principal - September/October 2019 - 41
Principal - September/October 2019 - Practitioner’s Corner
Principal - September/October 2019 - 43
Principal - September/October 2019 - Early Career
Principal - September/October 2019 - 45
Principal - September/October 2019 - Raising the Bar
Principal - September/October 2019 - 47
Principal - September/October 2019 - The Reflective Principal
Principal - September/October 2019 - 49
Principal - September/October 2019 - 50
Principal - September/October 2019 - 51
Principal - September/October 2019 - Speaking Out
Principal - September/October 2019 - 53
Principal - September/October 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - September/October 2019 - NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - September/October 2019 - 56
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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