Be Hatched or Go Bad

Dear Warren John F. Kennedy Students and Parents,

The 2017-18 school year is quickly approaching. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you, and if we have not had the chance to meet yet, I hope we will soon. My name is Alyse Consiglio and I am delighted to be the new principal at Warren JFK Catholic Schools Upper Campus. I am a former teacher, coach, and most recently Curriculum & Instruction Supervisor at Trumbull County Educational Service Center.

I am a life-long learner and passionate about education. After teaching for 11 years, I accepted a new type of job at the ESC. Instead of being in the classroom, with 13-year-olds looking to me for answers, I would be doing teacher and administrator professional development (believe me, MUCH tougher crowd). Doing something new and different is always a little scary, but my favorite quote, by C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, is:
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for a bird to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
Be hatched or go bad. What a powerful thought--there is no staying the same. As I reflected on this quote when making my decision to take the ESC job, I knew it was the right thing to do. In the past three years, I have soaked up more diverse experiences as an educator than I would have ever thought. I created and prepared professional development for teachers and administrators on topics ranging from classroom technology integration and data analysis to curriculum design and classroom pedagogy. I have worked with over twenty districts, getting an inside look at how each school operates and how they implement their mission. I made a decision to grow professionally--even though there was a learning curve, and it was a totally new experience. I hatched.

Early this year, when the principal position at JFK was posted, I wrestled with the idea of once again making a career change. One Sunday, I was attending mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to recognize the JFK Football State Championship team. Father Lavelle spoke to the players about using their talents on the field. They might ask their coach, "how can you use my talents for the good of the team," and in turn, we should ask God how we can use our talents to serve Him. My experiences as an educator should be used to serve Him; what more fitting way than to apply for the position of principal at JFK. I am hatching again. (This time, I am an EAGLE.)

As the students of Warren JFK come into our doors this August, they must be prepared to work. We will challenge them, and they must respond with tenacity. We will put success within their reach, and they must make the effort to grab it. Students must believe that learning is their goal and effort makes them stronger. Working with effort in their classes will result in higher achievement. Practicing with effort will result in better outcomes on the field and on the court. Faculty, coaches, and administrators will provide students with the tools and support they need to succeed. We are creating the leaders of tomorrow with our programming at Kennedy. The students must choose to hatch.

Your generous donations have allowed Kennedy to be the only school in the area that is 1:1 device-to-student in grades K-12. Technology flattens the walls of our school and allows us to think globally. Information becomes instantly available so students can move to the application of ideas and critical thinking using the material. We shift the goal of school from consuming knowledge to creating content. Our staff will be utilizing an increasing amount of technology; there will be resources to redesign and new programs to learn. The teachers will move from being a "sage on the stage" to a "guide on the side." They too will hatch, as they incorporate the devices into their classrooms. You see, we are all growing together.

Warren JFK is a special place, as I have experienced over the years. This past year, I watched my youngest daughter and my nephew walk into opening mass together; one, a kindergartener starting her journey; and one, a senior with the world ahead of him. I have attended multiple graduations and been in awe of our students' college, career, and military paths. I have laughed and cried at the Kennedy Honors and Fiddlesticks productions (and danced with Elvis, much to my oldest daughter's chagrin). I have been amazed by the generosity of our bidders at the Just For Kicks auction, the creativity of the Ladies' Calendar Tea, and the excitement of Casino Night. I have been humbled by the dedication of our student volunteer programs, the faithfulness of our staff to our mission, and the support of our families who also believe Kennedy is a special place to be. Each of these events has evolved and grown through the years, with help from you. You are helping Kennedy to be a better place. We hatch together. 

This principal's blog is just one of many ways I will communicate with you this year. Please sign up for our school text alerts and one-call system for important information. Sign up to receive our Kennedy Now email newsletter. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. My office door is open to my Kennedy family. Our challenges together this year will help us grow if we continue to work together towards the common goal of continuing to be the best choice for education in the county. We cannot stay the course, while those around us strive to be better. We must hatch or go bad. 

Keep me in your prayers as I start my journey here professionally at Kennedy. I look forward to serving the families of Warren JFK. Let us grow spiritually and academically with courage, integrity, and dedication to the mission together.

With sincerity,

Alyse Consiglio


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