Harmony Elementary’s principal celebrates one year on campus

Relationships between teachers and students are her priority

Photo courtesy of Hemet Unified School District
Teresa McFarland celebrates her first anniversary as principal at Harmony Elementary School.

■ Chronicle News Service

Teresa McFarland, who was promoted to principal of Harmony Elementary School in January after the school’s former principal, Alisa Fallon, moved to another state, is wrapping up her first year in charge. McFarland said she’s excited to continue to implement new ideas and programs to further engage students and staff.
McFarland has been in education for more than 30 years and has found a true passion in helping students find success, said Alex Sponheim, Hemet Unified School District public information officer. McFarland’s goal is not only for students on campus to be successful, but also for them to be excited to come to school every day. At the beginning of the school year, she asked staff to write down their hope for the 2017-18 school year. McFarland plans to mail staff their card mid-year for continued inspiration.
Last year was an important opportunity to gain a true understanding of where students were succeeding and where staff needed to make adjustments to better support students, said McFarland. It was also the perfect opportunity to build relationships with students, families, and staff members.
“As a leader, it is imperative that I have a relationship with the people at my school,” said McFarland.
These relationships have brought valuable insight from staff, families, and even students on identifying student needs and interests and matching them to corresponding resources. Harmony began a school-wide implementation of AVID and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) strategies into the classroom to inspire students to begin to think about their future. The school is also concentrating on teacher learning and professional development.
“I want families to want to bring their students to Harmony because they know we provide a nurturing environment and that we are the best school for students to achieve due to the services we provide for their children,” said McFarland.

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