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Peter Stern, Johnson Elementary

Peter Stern, Principal, Johnson Elementary 
 
What has been the most challenging aspect of becoming an administrator?
When I made the transition to being an administrator five years ago, learning to balance the many duties of an administrator was the biggest challenge. Finding time to be in each classroom and be involved in the daily instruction of our students is one of the most important aspects of my job. 
 
In what new ways do you support student learning?
Our main focus for this school year is focusing on high-quality initial instruction. We are utilizing research-based instructional strategies to engage our students and get it right the first time.
 
What are you doing to engage the community at your school?
Our fall festival, Johnson Heritage Night, spring picnic, and other events draw in members from throughout the community. We also have our Elementary Literacy Friends (ELF) program. This program matches community volunteers with students at Johnson. They form a mentoring relationship and work on literacy skills together. 
 
How will you respect your school’s history and culture while making the decisions necessary to educate young people for their future?
We are fortunate that Johnson has a rich history within our community. Many of our parents are former Johnson students.  The Johnson motto is “we are family,” and we honor that motto as we make decisions. We utilize collective decision-making to include all stakeholders. Ultimately, what is best for is our students is what helps guide us through tough decisions. That is the Johnson way.

 For the next few weeks, to learn about the transition out of the classroom, Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator profiles will feature new administrators.