Deion Jordan will be our Director of Competencies and will continue to teach Philosophy and Speech/Debate. In this role, Deion will focus on the “Why” of learning at Crosstown High. Before our first year of school, we developed twelve core competencies that we expect all students to truly master before graduation. On the surface, these are broad topics but when we really dig into them they are quite complex and include subject matter mastery required by the state of Tennessee. There is significant work that must be done to align state standards to our competencies in order to ensure that our students are well prepared for life after Crosstown. Daily, Deion will work with teachers to develop systems of measurement that accurately measure student progress toward mastery of competencies. As a real life example of competency mastery, look no further than the recent student-led protest. Students leading that protest showed a high level of mastery in our competencies of “Expressing Oneself Boldly” and “Collaborating on Teams.” In this instance, the two go hand in hand. Student leaders developed a plan, wrote a thoughtful letter, contacted media and then spoke eloquently on the subject matter. From here, we hope that they continue developing this competency by speaking publicly on the topic and lobbying for changes in the overall system to support our model.
Samantha Stiles will be our Director of Pedagogy while maintaining her role as a 9th grade Humanities teacher. The Director of Pedagogy focuses on the “How” of learning at Crosstown High. Teaching in a competency- and project-based school is complex. In Samantha’s role she will work with teachers on overall execution. A teacher at Crosstown serves as a project manager, mentor, and facilitator. Instruction can be profoundly different than what is found in a traditional setting. She will spend her time working with teachers to ensure that students are adequately progressing towards milestones, adhering to best PBL practices, and being assessed with consistency.
Ryan Dixon will be our Director of Project-Based Learning, as well as maintaining his role as a 9th grade Humanities teacher. The Director of Project-Based Learning focuses on the “What” of learning at Crosstown High. We are a project-based school and at our best, our projects should be rooted in the real world and seek authentic solutions to challenges in Crosstown, Memphis, and beyond. As the Director of PBL, Ryan will work directly with teachers and students to support the development of strong, interdisciplinary projects that are aligned to our competencies, are interesting and engaging to students, and are aligned to state standards.
In addition, Sasha Haynes, as Professional School Counselor, ensures that all students are on track for graduation and reaching their long-term goals. David Anderson, as Dean of Students, works with students in a restorative manner to ensure a safe and supportive atmosphere at Crosstown High. David works very closely with our counselor. Rounding out our administrative team, Scott Holcomb, as Director of Technology, ensures that our staff and students have and know how to use the latest technology to facilitate all elements of student growth.
This administrative team is already working together to ensure that the educational model that we are building at Crosstown High will meet all students where they are and help them reach their goals. We look forward to sharing more of our plans with you in the coming months.