This month’s National Renaissance Staffulty of the Month is Mark Brown from Newberg Senior High School in Newberg, OR. Nominator Melissa Wright describes how he made sure his staff felt appreciated and his seniors had several special events despite this spring’s unpredictable environment (lightly edited):
“Mark Brown is not at my school, however his positivity and creativity can be felt across the US and Canada. Since the pandemic started, Mark has taken any idea he can and run with it. He has been instrumental in moving his district forward, and I feel that this is due to the hard work and contributions that Mark brings as an Assistant Principal and leader within his school and district. He is making sure his staff feel appreciated by organizing a drive-through pickup of gifts for staff, and that grads are recognized by organizing a virtual prom and parades complete with a unique grad cap toss at the end. We all need people like Mark in our buildings, and in our Renaissance community. His ideas and energy are contagious!”
How long have you been involved with Renaissance?
What’s a favorite Renaissance moment for you?
One of my favorite Renaissance moments was this past August during staffulty in-service. We have a wall in our main hallway, directly next to the main office. Two years ago, we painted the phrase “I’ll Do Whatever It Takes” and then had all of our staffulty sign the wall with a sharpie to show our commitment to doing whatever it takes to make Newberg Nation the best school possible for our students. During staffulty in-service this past year, we had all of our returning staffulty members line the main hall and cheer/sing the school song while our new staffulty walked down the hall to sign the wall and make their commitment to doing “Whatever It Takes” as the newest staffulty members at Newberg High School. It was such an amazing moment to see our entire staffulty gathered together, rallying around the collective commitment to doing “Whatever It Takes” to love and support our students for the upcoming school year.
How has Renaissance impacted your school’s culture?
Renaissance has allowed us to create a more universal lens on what student and staffulty success and achievement looks like. Before Renaissance, we were really good at celebrating a small percentage of our students based on their accomplishments and achievements in specific areas. However, through implementing the 5 R’s formula, we have expanded our lens and understanding of what we Respect, and have then found ways to Recognize, Reward, and Reinforce those things in both private and public ways. Now, all students and staffulty believe and know that they actively contribute to the climate and culture of our school. They don’t have to be the star athlete or smartest academic student to be recognized! As long as they are living each day as their best selves and striving to make a positive impact on the lives of others, they are doing things the right way and deserve to be celebrated! We have definitely seen the Results of this through a more positive, welcoming, and collaborative school climate and culture!
How has Renaissance affected you personally?
Renaissance has changed my life! Literally! From the first time I was exposed to what Renaissance has to offer, my life as both an educator and as an individual has never been the same. It has really helped me to embrace the mantra of #BeWhoYouIs by being confident in myself, and working to make sure that everyone around me finds value in who they IS. Renaissance has really shaped the way I lead by helping me understand that my success as a school leader is not about what I achieve, but that my success is found in helping the educators and students I work work find their happiness through embracing the call to #BeWhoYouIs. When people are encouraged to chase their dreams and pursue their passions, amazing things happen! Renaissance has helped me to not only understand and embrace this, but has provided me with the tools, resources, and ideas to implement this into my daily routine as a school leader!
What advice would you give to someone just starting with Renaissance?
Dive in! Connecting with the Renaissance family and adopting the Renaissance philosophy is one of the best decisions you will make as an educator. By learning to turn your focus towards the success of others within your school, you will not only find happiness, but you will find results! Every single educators and student on your campus has something positive to contribute, and Renaissance helps provide the framework for unleashing everyone to thrive and make an impact. As you begin your Renaissance journey, reach out to other Renaissance educators. The Renaissance family is filled with amazing educators at all levels and with so many different backgrounds and skill sets. Don’t feel like you have to do this alone. We are happy to share all of our ideas and support you with whatever you need!
Mark will receive a shirt and a lapel pin to recognize his achievement.
To nominate someone in your school for the National Renaissance Staffulty of the Month honor, click here.