A Sense of Family
by Jillian L., Friendswood Junior High student
Alyson Olson of Sioux City, Iowa was one of the attendees at the NMSA
conference in Houston, Texas. Mrs. Olson, the assistant principal at
South Sioux City Middle School, and her principal are both new to their
positions this year, and Mrs. Olson was excited to attend NMSA as an
During our interview, Mrs. Olson expressed one of her
concerns to me right off the bat. "If the teachers can't
work together, then the students can't work together," she
said. She knows that her goal is to make her teachers and students
work together more efficiently. She has ideas to make teamwork at South
Sioux better, and hopes that the NMSA conference will provide creative
avenues to reach her goal.
I thought about all the teachers and administrators
in attendance at NMSA: Do they have strong student-to-student and
teacher-to-teacher bonds? If school isn't
able to function together as a team, what product or technology could possibly
fix that problem?
From the sessions she attended, speakers she heard, and
the booths she gazed at, Mrs. Olson found ideas and gained skills to
bring home to South Sioux City Middle School and share with her staff.
It's a growing district in terms
of population, and she hopes it will grow in terms of togetherness and
I was amazed by Mrs. Olson's determination to
bring her school, her staff, her students, and her community together
as one. As I wrapped up our interview and hugged my stepmom from Sioux
City, Iowa, I realized the responsibility that rests on her shoulders,
and it made me admire and love her even more.