The Friday Finish!
Week ending February 3, 2023
Happy Sunday, Dear Colleagues! Yes, I am a wee bit tardy to the party with this Friday Finish! As is true in the exciting world of education and education administration, I have SO MUCH that I COULD and WANT to include in this edition because there are SO MANY positive things occurring within the corporation! But, in the interest of your time, some of the great things will be tabled for future editions!

Here we go….
Say “HELLO” to our NEW Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Rodney (Rod) Iberg!Rod Iberg will join the Irvington Community Schools Corporation Family on Monday, February 6, 2023! He is coming to us as an experienced and proven business executive with 30 years of financial, operational, and executive management- level experience with for-profit and non-profit organizations. Prior to accepting our COO position, he served as Director of Operations for Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, where he was responsible for all operations of the church including facilities, finance, administration, construction management, human resources, recreation activities, and fund-raising/endowment activities.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Rod is regarded by his peers and former supervisors as highly-skilled in strategic & tactical planning, budget forecasting & planning, operations management, & executive leadership. These skills
will be put to good use as he will be responsible for our fiduciary and financial affairs as our finance director, provide oversight over our facilities, maintenance, athletics, child nutrition, and security/school resource officer personnel.

Over the next week or two, Mr. Iberg will work with ICS staff to fully induct & orient him into the “Irvington Way,” will work with us to continue or organizational needs assessing and realignment of resources and priorities as we march toward revising our ICS Strategic Plan for 2023-2028. A component of his induction activities includes site visits and
learning walks, so please welcome him to the Family as he makes his way to your location!

Shifting over into the “weekly instructional/practitioner” mode, I spoke briefly about a few questions I wanted you to ponder that I was saving for this edition. Among them was the idea of is there a difference between “a teacher an instigator of learning?” Consider this, if you will:

I had the pleasure of being the featured participant on a Podcast named HBCU Wall Street. Among the various topics we discussed, I was asked about my view on what a “good” or effective teacher is. I paused for a moment and cited a dynamic practice I observed during my learning walks last week among our 3 schools-The observation of Black History Month and student work/projects highlighting Black history makers in American History.

The students took the time to research Black contributors in the arts, sciences, entertainment industry, athletics, business, religion, politics; government, religion; civil rights & finally, domestic & international commerce, as several patents on everyday household/building/business elements were patented by African-Americans.

On the surface, the reviewer of the student work is impressed at the student identification of the subject’s contribution to American history as significant, as was I. The “Instigator of learning,” though, takes it to a different level. Here’s how…

Just as the students took the time to research and learn about the accomplishments of the African-Americans highlighted on the various classroom doors in our corporation & provided a brief snippet as to why the individual; their accomplishment were noteworthy, the instigator takes it a step further and challenges the students to ascertain the WHY!
Why is Jackie Robinson breaking into the Major Leagues in 1947 noteworthy? What cultural impact has that achievement had on baseball, if not all professional sports & why did MLB and other professional leagues not have black players prior to then? Why is Madame C.J. Walker being recognized as among the first black female millionaires in America significant? WHAT was her product & business model that helped to build her fortune;
WHY were these products in such high demand for personal & commercial use?

The teacher does a great job of introducing the concept and going one or two feet into the surface to ensure understanding. The instigator delves 3 or 4 feet and goes into the sociological, psychological, demographic, historical,; philosophical precursory and aftermath impact that those persons & their accomplishments represent. Both teacher & instigator are valued and valuable assets in our schools, with the instigator being the one cited as provoking thought, deeper insight; analysis beyond that which is visible & readily understood. As we work to reach and teach our young people this week, I encourage you to INSTIGATE!
See you soon,