Alma Principal selected as administrator that makes a difference

Ty Thompson
Robert Wolfe has been chosen by the Arkansas Association of Middle-Level Education as this year's administrator that makes a difference.

Robert Wolfe, principal of Alma Middle School, was nominated and selected as this year’s Arkansas Association of Middle-Level Education Charles A. Green Administrator That Makes a Difference.

AAMLE is a state organization that is part of the National Association of Middle-Level Education that helps middle school educators create great schools by reaching all students and growing professionally.

Wolfe was selected based on a list of criteria that an administrator must fit into. 

First, is an administrator as a visionary. The administrator must assess the needs and values of the school community and articulate a vision of learning that is supported and implemented by teachers and staff.

Second, an administrator as an instructional leader. The administrator immerses himself in the development of knowledge unique to various subject areas and instructional programs.

Third, administrator as a facilitator. The administrator creates the structure of democratic governance thus developing a school-wide system of collaboration and teaming.

Finally, administrator as a professional. The administrator demonstrates professional conduct and serves as a role model within the school community. 

As a visionary, Wolfe implemented departmental PLCs (professional learning communities) where teachers can meet with grade level or department colleagues to develop curriculum/assessments, alignment, and/or lesson plans. Furthermore, Mr. Wolfe is always working with faculty to improve the process, thus improving student learning. 

As an instructional leader, Wolfe attends every PLC meeting and works with teachers as they develop curriculum and common formative assessments. He also assists teachers in selecting essential learning targets and supports the development or improvement of the curriculum to match these learning targets. Mr. Wolfe's leadership style motivates faculty to continuously learn and improve their teaching in order to help students improve their learning. Although he understands the importance of data and test scores, Mr. Wolfe makes it clear that his priority is student learning and mastery, not test scores.

As a facilitator, Wolfe always promotes shared decision-making. Mr. Wolfe’s open-door policy, as well as his open-mindedness, gives teachers confidence in him and themselves as professionals. Teachers know their thoughts/opinions are valued. Mr. Wolfe has created a building leadership team thar incorporates faculty from all subjects and various grade levels, giving everyone a voice. 

As a professional, Mr. Wolfe serves as a role model by participating in many professional organizations. In addition to professional memberships, he attended ALA Master Principal Institute and is a Master Principal. He takes groups of teachers to various professional conferences where they can learn more best-practice strategies and then present the information learned to other faculty members; he has also taken teachers to conferences to present the strategies and procedures that work at Alma Middle School.