NASSP News: December 2021
NASSP President Wieczorek Kicks Off 50-State Tour of Schools
NASSP President Gregg Wieczorek kicked off a nationwide tour of schools this fall with a swing through six southern states. Wieczorek aims to visit all 50 states as part of Leading Forward: The Listening and Learning Tour.
The first leg of the tour started in Louisiana, followed by stops in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The tour is designed to highlight innovative programs and ways that schools are connecting with students and the broader community.
“I’m looking for two things when I visit schools,” says Wieczorek, the principal of Arrowhead Union High School in Hartland, WI. “First, I ask what you are most proud of as principal of your facility. And second, what’s one innovation you’ve implemented that costs less than $1,000?”
Putting a dollar cap on ideas eliminates many expensive technological innovations. One principal, for example, told him that she has seniors sign her gown the week before graduation. Then when it’s time for them to graduate, she wears every senior’s signature.
“My thinking is that everybody could scrape together 1,000 bucks if it’s an idea that’s really worthwhile,” he says. Wieczorek’s own innovation, which others have since copied, was to buy a portable desk that he can move out in front of the school so he can continue to work while greeting students as they arrive in the morning,
By the end of October, the tour had taken Wieczorek through New England. Even with the ambitious goal of visiting every state, he isn’t worried about getting burned out. “To me, it’s very energizing,” he says.
He’s also looking forward to sharing what he learns with school leaders around the country. “No one will try everything, but if we have 100 great ideas, maybe someone will actually want to try two or three of them.”
For more information on the tour, follow him on Twitter (@gregg_wieczorek).