When I was hired into the position of principal at Stevens Elementary in the spring of 2017, I honestly jumped for joy. I knew that serving this community would be a life-changing experience, and it definitely has been!
The last five years have gone by so quickly, and my heart is full of treasured memories of being a part of bringing to life a wonderfully thriving neighborhood school. And what a thriving school it is! The last five years have been filled with unforgettable experiences, unforgettable joy, and unforgettable love. Our scholars have grown and blossomed in the face of incredible adversity in the safe haven that is Stevens Elementary.
As I looked back over my letter of introduction to the Stevens community from five years ago, I stated that I would ground our work in the philosophy that relationships matter, that relationships are at the heart of every single endeavor that succeeds. So, we did just that. We grounded ourselves in the importance of building a tight crew dedicated to the goal of “cultivating caring leaders of tomorrow.”
To do that, we had to ensure that we, the Stevens educators, were the caring leaders that our scholars deserved. We endeavored to create a dedicated team of educators that put students at the center of all decision-making processes. We built, and rebuilt if needed, our relationships so that our students knew we would always advocate for their well-being. These trusting relationships facilitated a way for the most reserved of students to thrive, and ultimately to achieve their best. We built relationships so that we could challenge each other, grow from new understandings, and dream big together.
We built relationships with our families and our community because together we were charged with shaping our future leaders, and the result is a Wheat Ridge learning community that leans on each other, that builds each other up and is not afraid to have the hard conversations that are necessary to re-envision the future for our scholars.
Today, as I announce that I am resigning at the end of this school year, it is not without some sadness, and some fear of missing out on what is to come at Stevens Elementary. However, this amazingly dedicated, relationship-focused crew is more than up to the task!
Thank you, our Stevens families and community, for your continued support and the trust you have placed in our crew to love and educate our children each day. I am humbled and beyond grateful for this experience.
My next adventure takes me into the Rocky Mountains, as I will be continuing my passion for loving, advocating and serving communities as principal at King-Murphy Elementary in Clear Creek County.
TJ Bonham (McManus) is Principal at Stevens Elementary School.