SFL Interviews Dionne Glass, Principal of the Brand New School on Derrick Road
Dionne Glass is a visionary school leader devoted to creating a positive school culture and climate that embodies high expectations, rigor, and active engagement for students. Glass is a highly skilled, student-focused instructional leader committed to creating success for all school stakeholders. She is a responsible professional with exceptional communication skills and a proven history of intentional efforts to build relationships with the community-at-large and engage in meaningful collaborative work to move schools forward.
Mrs. Glass is a wife, mother, community servant and principal of the Wolf Creek Elementary School. She is a veteran educator with 25 years of educational experience. In her role as a school administrator, she has provided dedicated service to her staff, students, parents and a host of community stakeholders in the East Point and College Park communities. She works tirelessly to build a culture of high academic achievement. She facilitates the growth of aspiring leaders by encouraging best practices. She believes in increasing student literacy through the implementation of a balanced literacy approach while integrating across all curriculum areas. Innovative teaching and learning, active student participation, rigorous and engaging classroom instruction and building community partnerships are among her highest priorities.
Most recently prior to opening Wolf Creek ES, Glass served as principal of Brookview Elementary. She has also served in the capacity of assistant principal, curriculum support teacher, and classroom teacher in the East Point/College Park community. Glass believes in giving back to her community; she was raised and educated in this very same community. She has a vested interest in the success of the students she serves.
Glass is a graduate of Jackson State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She also holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University.
“I have a strong belief that educators have the greatest influence on our youth. We provide the foundation for learning and help mold children into who they will become. I believe in educating the “total” child so that they will be the best person that they can be. Each day with each student should be a day where we have made a difference! I believe that children we serve should know that they are better because we touched their lives.”
In her spare time, Mrs. Glass enjoys spending time with her husband, their blended family and her very energetic 6 year old son. She contributes to her community through her involvement in various activities sponsored by her community service organizations. South Fulton Lifestyle caught up with the principal to ask a few questions.
SFL: Please tell us a little about your background.
I am a native of College Park, GA and a product of Fulton County schools. I attended elementary, middle and high school in Fulton County. I am a 25 year educator of FCS with all of my experience dedicated to the South Fulton area. I take pride in having had the opportunity to lead at the school where I received my earliest educational experiences, Brookview ES. To be selected to continue my leadership endeavors in the South Fulton area at Wolf Creek Elementary is a great honor and charge. The immense responsibility of opening a new school affords me the chance to establish a positive culture and climate and create a life-long educational experience for the community. It allows me to continue to be of service in my community.
SFL: How exciting has the process of leading the new school and being a part of the building process been?
This has been an awesome process. I have been able to build a phenomenal team of great classroom and building leaders with a common vision to empower students to become accountable in their learning process. We have a “hodge-podge” of perfection ready to engage and move students to high levels of academic achievement and success.
Watching the school site develop into a beautiful place of learning has been a very rewarding experience. Although many of the structural design components are standard, as the instructional leader, being able to provide input on color schemes and furniture choices that support student learning and growth has been great. We are looking forward to a 21st century style Media Center with collaborative learning spaces and reading nooks. I have been able to be a part of weekly Capital Improvement Program meetings where construction updates are provided and input is solicited for the site. Site walk-throughs have afforded me the opportunity to see the building develop from the ground up.
SFL: What will make the new Wolf Creek Elementary different from other schools in the district? What new ideas will you bring with you?
We are excited about what the future holds for WCES. The process of opening the school has been an authentic experience, stimulating community engagement and support. Our stakeholders have been able to actively be a part of the process and take ownership in developing the school’s culture and climate.
Although a traditional Fulton County school in curriculum and instruction design and implementation, we have a unique opportunity to create a culture of collaboration and learning through Fulton County’s Personalized Learning initiative. We will work collaboratively as a team to customize the academic model to individual learners’ needs, skills and interests. This fall, school stakeholders will have the unique opportunity to weigh in on the instructional models, providing students with flexible learning options, choice and voice options, and varied learning strategies to meet their needs. Classrooms will have one-on-one technology tools to help enhance learning. Our new staff members have already begun exploring a multitude of research based practices that are options for implementing over time to enhance student growth at Wolf Creek ES. Teachers are participating in training opportunities in Project Based Learning, Personalized Learning, and International Baccalaureate Programs.
I believe in educating the total child and pushing students beyond the status quo. Our focus will be on ensuring that our instruction is academically challenging and relevant for each student. We will focus on building leaders, as we look to become a Leader In Me School. This initiative focuses on teaching students 21st Century leadership and life skills and creating a culture of student empowerment based on the tenant that every child can be a leader! Students will engage in learning the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We are on our way to building Pathways To Success at Wolf Creek Elementary. Let’s go Wolves!