Principal’s Press Conference, 6/6/24

This article was written by the members of the Journalism class. 

 

On Thursday, June 6th, Steven Dellinger-Pate sat down with the journalism class to answer questions about the most up-and-coming topics around U-32. This is the seventh article in an ongoing series called Principal’s Press.

 

6/6 Topics

  • U-32’s Development in the Eyes of Steven
  • Steven Wraps Things Up
  • U-32’s Summer Renovations (A Lack Thereof)
  • Montpelier High School Flood Proofing Solution, Does U-32 Have Room?
  • Principal Pressers Throughout This School Year
  • 2024 Step Up Day
  • End-of-Year Festivities

 

U-32’s Development in the Eyes of Steven

By Evelyn Rocha

“We did so much awesome stuff during my time here,” said Steven Dellinger-Pate, WCUUSD’s new superintendent and U-32’s principal for the past 10 years.

 

While reflecting on his time as principal at U-32, Steven has seen a lot of growth in the development of teaching strategies. Even though there were good teachers when Steven arrived at U-32, “There wasn’t as much conversation about teaching and learning,” he said. “There wasn’t a whole lot of professional development that the staff did prior to being here.” Steven said that as the years went by “we’ve gotten better over the years at having more conversations about what it means to have good instruction in the classroom.” 

 

Steven also has a lot of pride in U-32’s alumni leaders. “One of the important things that comes from the way that any principal should be developing the people that work at the school is how many people can go on to leadership,” Steven said.

 

He is also proud of U-32’s student teachers. There are a few current teachers at U-32 who were formerly student teachers, like math teacher Steven Ushakov. Steven said that U-32 is very welcoming to student teachers, “Helping people join the [education] field is a really important thing for us to do,” he said. 

 

Steven Wraps Things Up

By Maia Pasco and Ari Chapin with contributions from Biruk Alfarone

 

“For me, it’s not the big things, it’s those little conversations… and those are the things that I will always carry with me,” said Steven Dellinger-Pate. As Steven reaches his last few weeks as principal of U-32, he reflects on some of the highs and lows of his career. For him, the things he will remember most are not the big things he brought to U-32, but the smaller things such as connections with students and watching students connect with each other. 

 

Over the time Steven has worked at U-32, the “biggest shock” he experienced was COVID, but he doesn’t want that to define his legacy. One special thing he notes about U-32 is the “general level of trust and compassion that students have for each other.”

 

There have been challenges during Steven’s time as U-32 principal that he has enjoyed working on. One of these was tackling proficiency based education. He values that the proficiency based education focuses education on the students. Steven said, “We talked more about how kids learn because of that than we had ever done before.”

 

U-32’s Summer Renovations (A Lack Thereof)

By Cody Young & Isaac Flibotte

 

This summer, unlike others, has very little in store for renovations at U-32. The most extensive project this summer is the restoration of U-32’s baseball field. Steven said, “The baseball field has terrible, terrible drainage [problems], and so we’re getting that fixed.” According to Steven, the baseball field simply “doesn’t drain” which could create a lot of problems for sports next year.

 

Besides the baseball field, there aren’t many other major projects to complete over the summer. Other smaller projects include fixing the stairs, which are broken around the edges, new freezer and refrigerator doors in the cafeteria, and fixing the compressor for the freezer.

 

There is breaking news from the U-32 kitchen! “Our freezer is going bad,” said Steven. “You wonder why we’re getting such an eclectic mix of food right now. We’re barely able to keep it cold enough to freeze.” If this problem had occurred early in the year, the school may have had a greater issue at hand. Steven said, “It’s fine, the food’s all fine. I’m eating it too.” The kitchen must hold out for only the next few days before summer break to store enough food to feed U-32’s student and staff body.

 

Montpelier High School Flood Proofing Solution, Does U-32 Have Room?

By Zephyr O’neill

 

Montpelier’s tragic flooding occurred last summer in July, making rubble of many stores, merchandise, houses, and what affected Montpelier families with teenagers most is the Montpelier high school being flooded out. The school has had renovations done and been deemed a suitable learning environment again, but still has a big problem. 

 

If a big flood like what happened before had occurred again the same thing would happen, and renovations would be pricey, Steven Dellinger-Pate–principal and soon to be superintendent–said in a meeting with the school board “their initial quote was $110 million to build a new high school that wouldn’t be subject to flooding.” The Montpelier Roxbury School district’s budget, similar to U32’s budget, was voted down for the first time this year. The budgets passed after further cuts. A future expense to the school’s budgets could cause financial difficulties within the school as well as more cuts.

 

Montpelier High School is the school that services most of Montpelier and some families outside of it. It services 350 students (2018) while U-32 Middle and High School contains roughly 700 students. Steven recalled a question being asked about if U32 had any room for Montpelier’s students. He said “somebody may have said that, doesn’t U32 have enough room for all of those kids? And somebody else may have said, Yes.”

 

Steven has made previous claims that U-32 won’t be merging schools with Montpelier, but that door might have cracked open just a little bit.

 

Principal Pressers Throughout This School Year

By Lei DeGroot & Drew Frostick

U-32 Principal Steven Dellinger-Pate has done Journalism Class Principal Press Conferences this year only he’s enjoyed it very much. Steven cites the Fifth Estate, which is the idea of holding the powerful accountable. This concept sees the media as equal to government.It’s a good, healthy accountability, and that’s, I think that’s important for everyone,” said Steven.

 

According to Steven a good, vibrant democracy needs to have a good, equally balanced press. We are able to look back in history and see that even today, there has been and still is media that is controlled by the government. “I think what it does for us as a school is it just makes it I actually think, okay, if I do this, what’s it gonna look like in the Chronicle,” said Steven. 

 

Over this school year, he’s done around 7 of these Principal’s Press Conferences; every time people have been eager to get the answers they wanted. “So when I come in front of this group of people, you know, you have been pretty strong in some of your convictions about what you want answers to and that’s a good thing,” said Steven

 

“Once we got past the first one, the enthusiasm of talking to me about what was going on in the school just kept rising,” said Steven. The Principal’s Press Conferences in Journalism class have been a bright spot for Steven throughout the year. The relationships Steven has built as a result of the conferences are something he will miss next year as he is becoming superintendent. 

 

Overall the Principal’s Press Conferences have been impactful for everyone involved; it gave Journalism students a way to practice their skills. They hope to continue the conferences with new principal Becca Tatistcheff, as well as Steven Dellinger-Pate when he assumes his new superintendent role. 

 

2024 Step Up Day

By Elise O’Brien and Elsie Koger

 

Step up day is June 11. This will be the first time 7th graders will meet their new classmates and teachers at U-32. They will go through  their classes and see what a typical day will look like for them as seventh graders. Middle School and High School students will also be going through their schedule for the school year of 2024-2025. They will also meet their teachers and experience their classes for next year.. “So they’ll come for Unity Day, And then they’ll meet their core. It’s the same process that we’ve done in the past,” said Steven Dellinger-Pate.

 

Step up day will be back to how it was before COVID.  “It’s going to be like old fashioned,” said Steven.  During the COVID lockdown, U-32 step up day was an online zoom meeting.  That was the only safe way for people to meet their new classmates and teachers.

 

This year, there will be a little less than 100 incoming 7th graders.  On step up day, they will split up into groups with kids from other schools.  The goal is for them to become closer and form bonds that they can carry into the new school year.

 

Looking Towards Next Year: Steven’s Thoughts

By: Elly Budliger

 

“I’m looking forward to the challenge. I like challenges,” said Steven. Stepping into the role of Superintendent will be a big change not only for Steven, but for the U-32 community as a whole. “We have got a lot happening here, we just hired a new principal. We have got [to hire] an Assistant Principal and Director of Student Services. Those positions are very important,” said Steven. Steven hopes to build a good team of new hires so that he can move on to the Superintendent position knowing that things at U-32 are running smoothly, “I want to make sure that I leave U-32 with a good strong base for the next years to come.” 

 

Once he assumes the position, Steven is looking forward to helping the WCUUSD community through some of the upcoming changes. “We’re going to have a lot of really tough stuff around configuration in our communities, and some hard conversations about what we want for our kids. I’m excited about those conversations,” Steven said. Changes can be hard for a community, Steven hopes that he is, “the right person to help people move through that if we have to make a final decision…I think that right now our schools are getting too small to be able to offer all those opportunities,”

 

All in all, Steven is looking forward to positively impacting the future of our school district, “I am excited about some of the things we may be able to do.”

 

End-of-Year Festivities

By Avery Ryan

As long as Steven has been at U-32, the school has always had end-of-the-school-year festivities to commemorate the beginning of summer vacation and the last week seniors attend U-32. 

 

This week, students choose to participate in the Spirit Week theme of the day. On Friday, U-32 will hold the annual Spring Day in the afternoon; a chance for students and staff to enjoy special activities and buy yearbooks. “I think it’s a great little tradition that we have,” said Steven.

 

Spring Day has changed over the years. In fact, it used to be an entire day of events. “That was the zoo of all zoos,” said Steven. During Covid, the event wasn’t able to be held. Steven gives credit to Krista Dy, a U-32 art teacher and the Pep Squad leader, for bringing Spring Day back. “Krista Dy is to be commended for really designing and working with the Pep Squad to be able to carry out a great end of the year [celebration],” said Steven.

 

Steven believes that the end of the year festivities held at U-32 are unique. Besides Spring Day, U-32 has many other traditions; these include Word of the Mouth, the 8th grade trip to Washington DC, the senior trip to Boston, and Move Up Day. “We’re to a point where we’re getting back to some of the traditions that we had held prior to Covid that we just couldn’t make happen,” he said.

 

 

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