Tuesday, October 2, 2012

NASA comes to Gardner Bullis

Actually, the headline is a bit unfair, since our new principal is much more than just a former astronaut.  Courtney Cadwell is an exceptional educator who has made a huge impact in each role she has taken on.  What is amazing to me is that she has been with LASD for a number of years.  It speaks not only to Ms. Cadwell's credentials, but also to the type of district that we are, that we could attract and retain and promote people of this caliber.

Ms. Cadwell brings tremendous experience to Gardner.  She joined the District several years ago as a teacher, and had been one of the leaders of the Khan Academy pilot program.  From there, she became a math coach in the District and most recently was our STEM coach.  I'm somewhat nervous that we will "lose" her skills as a STEM coach, but she assures us that she'll continue to work on district-wide initiatives, and will remain engaged with teachers across all of our campuses.

I mentioned NASA, and that's not a joke.  In 2003-04 she was one of 99 finalists selected by NASA for a program to put teachers in space.  She maintains a relationship with NASA even now, and her passion for science and math has been a great asset for the District.  In speaking with her, I believe folks will also find that she has a fantastic sense of balance- that she's interested in the whole child, and that she is just as passionate about writing and the arts as she is about space and algebra.  She currently serves as an adviser to the Gates Foundation, and to the Intrepid foundation (part of the Rockefeller Family foundations).

I've attached the letter Jeff Baier sent to the Gardner parent community, as well as Ms. Cadwell's resume.  She is a tremendously talented individual, and we are thrilled to have her as our newest principal in the finest school district in the State of California.

Welcome aboard, Courtney!

Letter from Jeff Baier
Resume, Courtney Cadwell