The Wauzeka-Steuben School District was named a Four Star School (exceeding expectations in all categories) on the 2021-22 State School Report Card, The Courier Press reported. They were also named best among the schools in their conference and one of the top schools amidst the CESA 3 districts.
The district principal, Tiffany Dums, credits the school district’s culture of caring as a critical component of their success. This mindset provides academic and social-emotional support to students, supports to the educational staff and fosters community support.
“I credit it to my teachers. We have one teacher per subject level and one teacher per area. But we offer so many things, for example teachers give up their prep time to teach AP,” Dums told The Courier Press. “They are doing it for the kids and so that the kids have the experiences. It is the whole package; everyone has to work together to provide these opportunities. In a school system it has to be that way, all hands on deck. I credit everything to them.”
This is the second time interim district administrator Gary Albrecht has worked with the district. “I was interim from 2018-20 and the board asked me if I was interested and willing to come back,” Albrecht told The Courier Press. “It has always been a joy to work at this school. I retired six years ago so I don’t have to be here, but I want to be here.”
The impact the culture has on the students is clear. “At the end of every year I do an exit survey of the graduating seniors and one of the questions I ask what are the things you appreciated about our school?,” Dums told The Courier Press. “Every year I hear the appreciation for ‘staff caring about me’. There genuine feeling of people caring for them.”
The spotlight that has been place on the district in regards to the State Report Card is not the emphasis for the district. “The foundation is all about the connection between kids and adults,” Albrecht told The Courier Press. “In actuality, when you have the other things in place, the staff and leadership engaged and the expectations and community support… then test scores are going to come together for you once in a while.”
Read the full article on The Courier Press’ website.