Impressive Fifth Graders Make A Difference In PlaygroundWhile progress on the new playground at Lincoln Elementary has been slowed by excessive rain, the end result will include input from 2014-2015 fifth graders. Following the results of a school wide survey they conducted, the playground surface will meet one of their ‘wish list’ requests.
While the torrential rain this spring and summer may have delayed the construction schedule a bit, you can feel the excitement as work continues on the new playground at Lincoln Elementary School and students will be very excited when they learn that their input was valuable.
In the spring, the fifth grade teachers incorporated the excitement of the new playground into their math lessons. Lincoln fifth graders conducted a survey of the rest of Lincoln’s students, analyzed the data, and created charts and graphs. The fifth graders then presented their findings,as a grade level, to Principal Melissa Walley in front of their peers and a few staff members. Those who presented the projects had an audience of approximately 80 to 90 people. The students were professional, well-spoken, and passionate. “I was impressed, not only by their speaking skills, but also by their confidence and ability to speak to a large group at such a young age,” said Walley.
The survey results held some surprises, as well as some extravagant requests which, according to Walley, were expected. There were obvious consistencies among the grade levels. For example, every grade level placed a high priority on replacing the mulch with another type of material. “This was a big surprise to me” she said, “The students had many reasons for wanting to replace the mulch, including an example of a student who had gotten mulch in his eye. I am happy to say that we will not have wood mulch on the new playground, as a direct result of the student presentations.”
Impressive students working with an impressive administrator leads to impressive schools and impressive playgrounds.
Getting to Know Principal Walley
Melissa Walley brought many years of teaching experience to Lincoln Elementary when she first arrived as Assistant Principal in August of 2012. Mrs. Walley previously taught at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Chicago, as well as serving the School City of Hobart for thirteen years. She is a native of Crown Point and continues to reside in her hometown with husband Dennis and two daughters, Hannah and Ella.
Mrs. Walley earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Education, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Purdue University Calumet. “I believe that one of the most important and exciting things an educator can do is to keep learning,” says Walley.
She is an avid reader and brings her love of reading and learning to all of the students at Lincoln Elementary School. “I want the very best for Lincoln Students. I believe that all children can achieve success with appropriate support, and should always feel successful as they learn and grow.” Mrs. Walley’s distinctive approach to leading and learning has brought unique opportunities to Lincoln students where dogs teach manners, gorillas encourage kindness and smiles are found in hallways and classrooms. You can follow the adventures of Mrs. Walley and her students on Facebook!