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ERIC Number: EJ782656
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Happy to Be Here Every Day
Kinney, Patti
Principal Leadership, v8 n5 p38-42 Jan 2008
Upon arriving at his newly assigned school as a principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School, Jim Dierke discovered that his office was furnished with only a card table and a folding chair. The school is located in a high-crime, high-poverty area on the southeast side of San Francisco. When Dierke arrived, the expectation for student success was low and teacher turnover was high, as were the truancy and suspension rates. At the time, it was the lowest performing of San Francisco's 18 public middle level schools. Today Visitacion Valley ranks 10th in achievement, attendance has risen to 98%, teachers are choosing to remain at the school, and the "San Francisco Chronicle" has called it an "island of safety in a sea of trouble." In this article, Dierke, the 2008 MetLife/NASSP National Middle School Principal of the Year, shares the story of this school's remarkable journey.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California