This month, TOSS would like to recognized Dr. Mike Winstead as our July Superintendent Spotlight. He has served as the superintendent in Maryville City Schools for two and half years.
When asked to share some exciting things going on in his district, Dr. Winstead spoke about iReach. This is the district's digital conversion model, which if flourishing in its second year. Every student k-12 now has a device in-hand! This has led to a determination to focus on high quality instruction with meaningful and engaging integrated technology. Dr. Winstead said that administrators have encouraged teachers to adopt a growth mindset by setting goals and plan for taking the next steps. The message he is sharing is, "You can set the path. You can set the pace. But, you have to keep moving on your iReach journey." By setting this expectation and providing the right tools and resources to teachers, they're giving students limitless learning opportunities.
Dr. Winstead was excited to share about a new multi-district project to increase literacy and promote a love of reading. Along with Alcoa City, Blount County, and local private schools, Maryville schools are participating in One Book Blitz, which Dr. Winstead described as "a unique program where all k-5 students in the area are provided a copy of the same chapter book for a shared reached experience." He said, "we expect this event to build enthusiasm for reading, provide a rich literacy experience for our younger students, and build unity among our schools."
We asked Dr. Winstead to share his favorite part of his job, to which he responded:
"Building relationships through weekly visits in the schools is my favorite aspect of my job. I prioritize the opportunity to walk through halls, step inside classrooms during instruction, and speak personally to faculty, staff, and students. As this habit has developed, I am overwhelmed with the outcomes. Teachers are eager to highlight effective teaching strategies and learning experiences, and students know my name and speak to me as I enter the classroom. I am invited to participate in class activities and demonstrations. In addition, I make special effort to attend and engage in the special events and athletic competitions in the district. This past school year I enjoyed sliding down an inflatable during an elementary field day and conducting the grand finale of the 7-9th grade orchestra concert. Experiences and opportunities like those keep me inspired and motivate me each day."
Fun Fact about Dr. Winstead:
He has a rich family history of enjoying all types of games, which he has brought into his leadership with central office staff and the principal team. This has been welcomed with enthusiasm and helped to build deeper relationships. Just recently the Leadership Team worked together to successfully escape the "Breakout Room" before time ran out!