Laying the Foundation with our Final Transition Plan Update

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STEM is an incubator of innovation and leadership. Our faculty and staff are always thinking of better ways to serve our students. Our students are empowered to advise us on how to improve the school that they rely upon to prepare them for their future. The STEM culture supports innovation, change and constant improvement. With a growth mindset, we are always ready for what’s next.

The Transition Plan was initiated to help us navigate the necessary growth due to personnel changes and the promotion of new leaders from within the school. Having a living document that reflects change as it happens, gives the entire community a way to build common understanding and language around roles and responsibilities as STEM grows.

The Flagship campus of STEM School Highlands Ranch must exemplify our very best self. We define our very best self as maximizing student potential. The north star is our Problem Based Learning model. Supporting our faculty to feel successful in this unique instructional model now has two long-time STEM professionals leading the work: Maura Ridder and Michelle Gasser. With the former design, our K-5 teachers felt their unique needs were not being addressed. Michelle has the confidence of the K-5 team with her experience as a fourth-grade teacher at STEM.

The STEM Staff Feedback Team and the Advisory Council keeps us all informed of faculty and staff needs through monthly anonymous surveys. The Transition Plan is focused on the actionable items such as PBL support in the classroom.

The Transition Plan, in its current iteration, reflects a revised card sort. The card sort activity has every task needed to keep STEM high functioning and in compliance as a public school. These tasks are in the hundreds if not thousands. The cards are then put into categories that align to the skillsets of each administrator. The job duties listed in the Transition Plan are the simplified lists that represent a complex job description.

I am pleased to share that Liz Dougan will take on an even greater leadership role among our Leadership Team. She will move into the role of K-12 Head of School and will be responsible for STEM’s overall mission implementation, as well as maintaining compliance and Strategic Plan focus. Her new role will directly support our School Directors, who have proven themselves over the last few months as exceptional leaders.

We hope the Transition Plan brings clarity of roles and responsibilities of each member of the team to our entire community. Please send any comments, recommendations or questions to STEM Communications.

Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Ox begins today.

P.J. Eucker PhD
Executive Director

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