Chad Argyle, former Principal at Santaquin Elementary School and current Principal at Apple Valley Elementary School in Nebo School District, was named Utah’s 2018 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) in May, 2018.
The National Distinguished Principals program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level principals who set high-standards of achievement, instruction, and collaboration for the students, families and employees in their learning communities.
When Mr. Argyle began as the administrator at Santaquin Elementary School in 2009, it was the fourth highest poverty Title 1 school in Nebo School District. There were no after-school programs, no parent-teacher involvement plans to enhance student learning, a lack of positivity toward student growth, and low-quality Tier 1 instruction. By the end of Mr. Argyle’s service at Santaquin Elementary, however, students’ end of level test scores increased dramatically, students reading on grade level increased by nearly 30 percent, a positive spirit focused on student success permeated the school, and Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 instruction were effectively implemented to impact student success.
To create a positive collaborative culture at Santaquin Elementary, Mr. Argyle met with nearly one hundred teachers, parents, community members, and district staff members at the beginning of his job, seeking their input for improvement. With an understanding of the needs of individuals in the learning community, Mr. Argyle carried out team-building activities among teachers to highlight each teacher’s strengths and skills. Mr. Argyle often met individually with teachers to listen to their needs and concerns. Mr. Argyle ensures that each staff member is included in social gatherings several times a year to get to know each other better. Through strengthening relationships among colleagues, staff members effectively combined their talents in a monumental effort to meet student needs and facilitate growth.
Mr. Argyle often reminds his whole staff that no intervention can compensate for poor teaching. By the second year of Mr. Argyle’s job, every teacher and paraprofessional had attended at least one in-service training at the national, state, or district level to improve teacher instruction. Mr. Argyle attended almost every training session with the teachers to improve his own skills as an educator. In addition, Mr. Argyle offers specialized training in technical skills needed to influence change in self and others to help achieve student success.
A goal for Santaquin Elementary is that all students complete sixth-grade with the skills necessary to complete junior high, high school, and continue on to additional education after high school. Teachers meet at the beginning of each year to assess the academic, behavioral, emotional, and social skill levels of each student based on the previous year. Goals are set and progress is noted for each student during the coming year while teachers work collaboratively to help each student succeed.
Mr. Argyle said, “Every decision I make as a school administrator is based upon that which has the greatest impact on student learning.” With his vision firmly set on student achievement, Mr. Argyle says that he can “effectively balance [his] duties as the instructional leader in the school and manage the affairs of the school’s intricate challenges to support student learning.”
Mr. Chad Argyle will be honored at the 2018 National Distinguished Principals Program on October 11- 12 in Washington, D.C.
Congratulations, Mr. Argyle on being a Nebo Hero!!
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