A Letter from John Muir’s New Principal [August-September 2010 print edition]

By Chris Rosenberg

Greetings to the Hayes Valley Community, My name is Chris Rosenberg and I am the new principal of John Muir Elementary School. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help lead this wonderful school, and it is my sincere belief that through excellent teaching we will be able to significantly improve the achievement levels of the students. For the past 14 years I have worked at Starr King Elementary School in Potrero Hill, both as a teacher and principal. Prior to that work I taught middle school in West Oakland, recruited teachers across the country, and taught high school history in the Bronx. My experiences have taught me a great deal about school reform, and I feel invigorated and prepared to do the work necessary to improve academic achievement at John Muir. While I plan to make some changes at Muir, I also know there have been good things happening there already, and I am excited to continue many of them.

The work ahead at John Muir will center around the classrooms. The children are our top priority, and nobody is better able to support them in their learning than the classroom teachers. I feel fortunate that there were already many wonderful educators on staff, and I have tried to add to that list with several outstanding new hires this summer. Our focus as a staff will be the teaching of reading, as well as the other core subject areas. We are all committed to helping significantly improve achievement levels at John Muir. That work will require a great deal of effort and focus from the staff, and may mean that some traditional extra-curricular activities and partnerships be placed on hold while we get ourselves deeply into our work of teaching reading. I know the community has been extremely supportive of John Muir, and I look forward to that support, even if it may look a little different than it has in the past.

I am excited to be a part of this school and community, and look forward to learning about the many wonderful people and activities happening in the Western Addition/Hayes Valley neighborhoods. John Muir is lucky to have such an involved community that is committed to helping the students be as successful as possible. I plan to be writing a follow up article next fall celebrating the success of our first year together.

Sincerely, Chris Rosenberg