Auburn High School could soon see long-term leadership - – Rockford’s News Leader

Auburn High School could soon see long-term leadership

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Jammie Poole Jammie Poole

Rockford school district's changing up its leadership from the top down and administrators think the timing is perfect for one high school.

At the home of the Knights, their motto is "New Armor for a New Age." In two weeks, one man plans to suit up. The district's picked Jammie Poole to lead Auburn and he's got a background of *battling for change.

"I was a turn-around principal at one of the first turn-around high schools in Chicago." -Poole says.

Poole took the top stop at what was ranked a bottom-20 Chicago school. It was his first job as principal, he was there from 2007 to 2011. Poole says he hit the ground running.

"There's a lot of moving pieces when you look at a turn-around school and then there's also a time-limit you have to open the school up. I think I had at least 1,800 interviews to hire 156 people to go into that building and then you have to be very strategic about getting the right people on the bus. Then of course there's community you have to address, community and parents, they want to know what's so special about the turn-around." -he explains.

District #205 leaders hope Poole can turn things around at Auburn. The school is notorious for high turnover with its principals. So much so, administrators say they've lost count of how many have come and gone in recent years.

"It's been higher than we like it to be, stability is very important for our staff for our students for our community. He's made a commitment to us he's going to sign a three-year contract and we know he's going to be here for a while." -says Assistant Superintendent Matt Vosberg.

Auburn teachers were involved in picking Poole. Administrators asked them what they wanted in a leader. Educators said someone with focus, experience and good communication skills. Poole believes he can bring that to Auburn by involving everyone.

"My first two to three weeks in the summer will be about going on a listening tour and part of that listening tour is bringing the teachers in and asking them what's working, what's not, bringing in the students, talking about what opportunities that they have what they would like to see, talking to parents about how they're involved and how they're engaged in what opportunities are out here for their children." -Poole adds. 

Administrators hope to have Poole start July 1st. His appointment is pending school board approval, which district leaders say should happen June 25th.

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