Blasting Off Like a ROCKET!
44 staff members, including teachers, secretary, bookkeeper, librarian, custodians and aides will take part in the program which has been aptly named, “ROCKET;” Reaching Out, Connecting Kids, Everyone Together. The name for the program came from evening custodian, Jan Symmes. The entire staff was invited to submit a name for the group and “ROCKET,” was chosen as most representative of the program the advocacy team envisioned.
“The most exciting aspect of ROCKET, is that we are setting time aside to sit back and allow children to have a voice, form friendships and get to know other children and the staff outside their classrooms,” said Mrs. Cullen.
In 2016-2017, Thirty-nine ROCKET groups will meet once a month to spend some time together, building bonds and sharing fun activities. The program will use the character values of responsibility, respect, compassion, fairness and honesty as the basis for monthly meeting activities.
As this year came to a close, a ‘Blast Off,’ day was held to introduce the students to the ROCKET program. Mr. Driscoll, a Lincoln parent and sports announcer, visited the school to add a little excitement to the introduction of ROCKETS by announcing the names of staff members involved in the program and dividing the students into groups. The groups will stay together for as long as they are at Lincoln.
The ROCKET program will begin in earnest during the upcoming school year. “If we see the children opening up and feeling more comfortable around the staff and their peers, then we will know we have been successful. Lincoln has many good programs for our children. We feel ROCKET is just another avenue where we can build the bonds between the staff and children. Our goal is to celebrate with them, cheer them on, and be here if they need us,” said Mrs. Cullen.
Kudos to Mrs. Cullen and advocacy team members; Debra Meekma, Tami Miedema, Wendy Roberts, Britni Weiner, Alyssa Monix, Alisha Perez and Jackie Klear and the new Lincoln ROCKET members!
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!