The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

SIS welcomes new principal Tiara Rogers

Transition is underway at SIS as it welcomes Tiara Rodgers into the position of principal. From starting her educational career as a middle school English teacher to acting in administrative roles in school districts across Wisconsin, Rodgers has 18 total years of experience under her belt.

“What really drew me to SIS was the focus on equity,” Rodgers said. “A lot of districts will have equity in their mission statements, but they’re really not doing the work. After researching [Shorewood]… I felt that it would be a good place for me to go, and that it aligned with my philosophy, as well as my own core values.”

One of the initial significant steps taken by Rodgers has been increasing connection among students and staff. This includes an adjustment to the cell phone policy, which now prohibits the use of mobile devices for the entire school day, for staff and students alike.

“One of my big goals [for the year is] just around having very clear expectations and procedures for not only our students, but our staff as well,” Rodgers said. “I think it’s gonna build stronger relationships amongst the students in our school community with just having that cell phone free environment.”

Another overarching commitment is to educational performance, with a focus on fostering continual growth in this area.

“Some of my bigger goals are around just student achievement,” Rodgers said. “I’m working with our school leadership team, and we do have some rigorous academic goals. Although our data is really good, there’s always room for improvement.”

Overall, this year’s approach to education and community extends beyond policy. This collaborative effort is about ensuring that every student experiences a sense of belonging within the school community. 

“[We also want to] focus on our school culture and how we are making SIS a place where all students feel they belong, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background,” Rodgers said. “We really just want to make sure students feel safe here. This is a place where they belong.”

Additional changes include a relaunch and rebranding of the PTO board and a monthly newsletter, both which reflect the overall goal of making sure the needs of all students are met, while building a positive and safe school culture for all. This extends into the larger community as well, with Rodgers expressing interest in holding quarterly listening sessions for parents to come in and express their thoughts.

“Just from meeting Mrs. Rodgers, I think she is going to be able to connect really quickly with teachers, students, and families,” said Mike Joynt, Director of Teaching and Learning, “I am just excited for the opportunity the students will have, and for the teachers to work with her.” 

For Joynt, middle school holds a special significance at the heart of the educational journey, for students, staff, and administration alike.

“I think of [middle school], from a student perspective, as a special place, because it’s that transition between elementary and high school.” Joynt said. “It’s an opportunity, for anyone who’s working with students at SIS, to work with [them] as they become young adults.”

Anticipation is high as Rodgers settles into her first month in the district.

“Knowing the positive energy that Mrs. Rodgers has, I think SIS will be a place that students want to be and a place they can feel safe to grow in,” Joynt said. “I think she’s going to bring a lot to our district.”

Additionally, the intentional focus on communication this year has allowed all facets of the school community to stay updated and connected. 

“When I see something being addressed, it [is addressed] immediately,” said Hannah Marquardt, LMC Coordinator. “It happens not only with the teachers and the staff, but it also goes out to parents.”

While the changes going into this school year are felt by all, Marquardt addresses the concerns administration has. Following the adjustment, students have engaged with each other more as well, even playing games together during the lunch hour. 

“A group of eighth grade students were playing Spoons,” said Rodgers. “That brought me so much joy to see them talking and playing a game, enjoying each other and not a cell phone in sight. At the end of the day, I think it’s going to be beneficial … not just keeping students focused on their academics and not being distracted in class, but it’s going to build stronger relationships amongst the students in our school community.”