I believe that a great education is one that works in partnership with its families and community to develop students to their fullest intellectual, creative, social-emotional, physical and spiritual capacities. I believe that the development of children's core values lies in joint accountability between the home and school. The school that I lead will develop the whole child through a strong academic program that is enlivened through the application of brain research with movement oriented, exploratory, integrative study with master teachers, parents as partners and community experts. Curiosity and creative thinking, collaboration through effective communication, and cooperative problem solving will permeate the educational experience. It is my belief that curiosity and the desire to be challenged reside deeply in all children, and when cultivated, leads students to a life-long engagement in learning.
Knowing how to apply the principles in my educational philosophy to the many divisions of a school is an art. I believe that through my teaching and administrative roles, I have developed that art. There is a major difference between how to develop the foundation of a five year old child's demonstration of core values with that of an elementary or middle school student. For a five year old, learning how to be responsible for his belongings at home or school, and becoming a contributing member of his class and family are paramount to the formation of good character and are the foundation of industry. As that five year old matures into an elementary and middle school student, the understanding of personal and social responsibility must become internalized to lead to academic accomplishments and contributions to society. It is my belief that regardless of the age and applicability of the concept of industry, it must be cultivated, whether through developmental play, or through learning to apply difficult material. All students should be expected to work hard and demonstrate a sense of seriousness and strong engagement toward their endeavors. The product will be classrooms in which each student’s identity is linked to excellence.
I believe that elementary and middle school students should be engaging in academically challenging initiatives that stem from the disciplines of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Programs that require tireless perseverance and the adaptation of ideas through teamwork such as STEM, Project Lead the Way robotics competitions or global service learning projects must be common place. Programs like these are critical to implement for three reasons. The first is that they provide academic rigor through creative problem solving and innovative project-based learning. Second, students become inspired as they apply math and science to the design of robots or other solutions to real-world challenges. Third, their engagement will lay the foundation for a new mindset that proves that a student’s success lies in the persistent, resilient and expansive exercising of the student’s intellect.
The future is here. The impact of globalization requires an unprecedented educational landscape. I believe that students' whole brain capacities must be developed so they grow to be leaders in the fields of technology, mathematics and engineering, the sciences, the arts, and communication. Students must continue to acquire a strong foundation in the “three Rs,” but that is no longer enough to prepare them for the ever-changing marketplace in the 21st century. To truly educate and prepare children for a very different world than what we have experienced, means to cultivate a specific educational foundation. This foundation must develop children’s critical thinking and synthesizing capacities, design strategies, and the ability to apply knowledge in fluid ways with an entrepreneurial mindset. It is the person who combines the love for learning with the ability to adapt and reinvent himself that will experience success.
I believe that to sustain and thrive, The Cushman School must leverage its value-added competitive positioning through strategic thinking. As a leader that is committed to fostering leadership, I will provide all employees with opportunities to develop as reflective practitioners who can provide strategic insight as we continue to create value through performance excellence. Once my vision has been clearly articulated, I will hold every single employee accountable to contribute to a cohesive team to achieve our goals. This vision can only be actualized if we have a fully engaged administration, faculty and staff that possess the skillset and internal drive to succeed. In this ever-changing world, I will continue to seek ways to reinvent ourselves while holding true to Dr. Cushman’s mission.
Miami is a world-class city, with a uniquely diverse population and culture. Under my leadership as Head of School, Cushman will strengthen and become defined as a world-class school that produces world-class leaders of tomorrow.