Three years ago, Ms. Savage welcomed me to collaborate at Shue-Medill School on a project designed to help middle school kids write about controversial issues. There is general agreement that kids write poorly, especially when they must account for the perspectives of other people. Instead of working together to resolve their differences, kids (an adults!) usually hold on to their biases and resist consideration of reasonable alternatives. Ms. Savage and her colleagues agree that these biases appear in the students' writing, but they originate in the ways that children speak with each other. With this in mind, we developed some lessons that focused of what we called "critical discussions." In these discussions, kids learned a process for considering other perspectives, as well as the skills that are needed to support their writing.
There is much left to do, but as a result of her support, we were able to secure federal funding to continue the work. This would not have been possible without Ms. Savage's commitment to continuous improvement. She understood that it would take time to develop the lessons, and more importantly, to refine them. She also understood that the process would require that we collect and evaluate evidence about the children's progress. In short, she understands that growth requires a sustained commitment over time to achieving important goals. Their are no simple fixes when it comes to promoting children's development.
Ms. Savage is a remarkable school leader who inspires the respect and admiration of her colleagues. This is because she works every day to support their professional development. I'm honored to be welcomed at the Shue-Medill School and am thankful for the opportunity to work with her and her colleagues to support their students' development.
Wow, what can I say about
Ms. Savage? She brings her heart and soul to work each day. She is determined, honest, a real go-getter and an advocate for both students and teachers. Ms. Savage is the backbone of our school while allowing us all to find our niche and do what is best for students.
As one of the Assistant Principals at Shue-Medill I witness first hand all of the caring and awesome things she does for students like visiting a student over the Thanksgiving Break who has been placed in a group home setting and taking him out to dinner. Why?... because his mother couldn’t find time in her busy schedule to do so! This is just one example of how Ms Savage loves our students. She challenges the administration team to do our best to support and help our teachers grow so they can best service our students. She gets it! She knows what the big picture is all about... DOING WHAT IS BEST FOR STUDENTS!
I’m so proud to have her as my principal because I know that she will never steer us in the wrong direction. Of course she sometimes gets frustrated but that’s only because of her passion for education and wanting things to positively change. She never gives up and she works tirelessly to make a difference. She truly lives up to her name. She is a SAVAGE when it concerns doing what is right for students. You’ve got to love her!
I have had the privilege of having Michele as my Principal at Shue for the past 4 years. Michele has helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life. She influenced me to take an interest in half marathons and was my cheerleader during my first race back in 2018. I will never forget how she encouraged me to take up running when I was going through a difficult time. She has taught me many life lessons inside and outside of the work place. Michele allows teachers to have a voice at her school by listening to their ideas and believing in them. She has allowed me to take the initiative to run different Social Studies trips, which I really appreciate. I have also yet to see a person who is as optimistic and positive as Michele. She constantly is able to see the good in every situation. I honestly look up to Michele as a mentor and a role model figure for myself. I am thankful that she is in charge of our school because I know that she truly cares about our students and staff. She is willing to try any new ideas to help improve our school climate for students and staff. She fights for what is right for her school and is a very determined, caring, and hard working person!!!
I have had the opportunity to work with Michele for the last 15 years, beginning as Assistant Principals together at Newark High School. Michele brings a passion to education that is contagious. She looks for ways to promote opportunities for all students through challenging curriculum and leadership opportunities. This was first evident in the establishment of the Cambridge program at Newark High School. Through her leadership she was able to establish a program to provide a unique opportunity for our students. This very model was then moved to our middle schools within the district. Outside of this program, Michele has been a champion for equity for all students. Working to introduce programs and opportunities to engage all of the students she serves. She worked to establish the Best Buddies program to integrate our special needs students with our regular education students so that both groups could work together on a common cause. She has taken a lead in working to implement school change through Improvement Science in her role as principal at Shue-Medill Middle School. Michele has also been a mentor for me in my efforts to bring about school improvement and meaningful programming in my own middle school. She is always there to offer support and guidance, something that is truly valued.
I love your dedication to not only your students but the staff as well. Thank you for all you do.
I have worked with Michele to create a very unique anti bullying program at Shue Medill Middle school with my character, Jurdy. We launched a “Kind is cool” campaign and Michele’s vision was instrumental in branding kindness with all of her students. She has drastically reduced bullying and increased positive results in her school in unprecedented ways. She worked with our creative team to bring Jurdy to all of her students as the hero of happiness and the friend to each student.
Since the inception of Jurdy’s program, Michele’s energy has been contagious in that they launched their “Jurdy Agent” program ( peer to peer anti bullying support) and many other creative extensions of Jurdy with the students. Michele is helping to forge a new path in how students are taught respect, kindness and realizing their full potential.
I don’t know that I’ve ever met a more positive role model for children... she is a leader, a promoter, an influencer and a mentor to all, especially her students. She brings dynamic change for the good of all and generates a happy culture in education. I can’t think of a more deserving person for this award. She works tirelessly for children and all of those in education. #LCOY
I COULD go on forever with what I could share about what a tremendous impact this woman has had on our school...our school climate.....our school’s energy.... our school’s culture....She is my principal....she is my leader....I would stand next to or behind her in any decision she makes because she had NEVER not put us first in what she does in our building. She has allowed me to build a program of community and social activists who want to change the world. She has allowed me to be expressive and creatively free. She is the first and only principal I have ever had whose door is ALWAYS open...literally..... she brings laughter and smiles and excited energy into our building everyday with her silliness and willingness to be all she needs to be for us and our students. She holds us accountable and challenges us to follow through and be innovative in our classrooms. She welcomes change and helps us to facilitate it. She is a powerful leader who I look forward to seeing everyday. She is a leader in every sense of the world and because of what she has allowed me to do, has certainly been a Life Changer and is worthy of all reward.
As a teacher who was fortunate enough to work with Michele at Newark High School and Shue-Medill Middle School, I can say she was one of the greatest administrators I worked with in 36 years. I just knew that when she was transferred to Shue-Medill, she was sent there to save the students, staff and school. She did just that. She is a phenomenal administrator, educator and person. I am so grateful I was able to be part of her team.
Michele continually goes beyond the role of being an administrator. She is a motivator, cheerleader, sounding board, teacher advocate, student advocate, and so much more. Michele does not take her position as being an administrator as a "job", but as a calling. She is always looking at how she can help her students and staff to be better and how she can make that happen at Shue-Medill. I have worked for 18 years in the Christina School District and am a graduate of it and I have never seen anyone like Michele. She will do anything for her students and staff. While she looks at enhancing programs and projects that we already have, she is also looking for a new idea to try and she is always open to ideas from staff. Michele gives the staff a "voice" in what goes on here at Shue-Medill which gains more buy in from staff. She has done the same with our students through the creation of the Student School Improvement Team. These students, who volunteered to be on the team, come up with different ideas and present them to Michele. This allows the students to have a say and a "voice" in what goes on here at Shue-Medill as well. Michele will also do anything to gain student buy in from dying her hair, having individual dance offs with the students, getting buckets of slime poured over her head and so much more. The students know who she is, know that she is approachable, and respect her as does the staff for the same reasons. For these reasons and many more, I feel that Mrs. Michele Savage is justified and deserving of this award and recognition. I cannot think of a better person who exemplifies what a "life changer" is than Michele.
It has been an honor and privilege to work with Michele. She is an exceptional administrator and leader in her school. In all my years working in and with schools, Michele stands out for her commitment to her school, staff, students, and community.
Michele can be summed up in this sentence: she will continually fight for her school, her teachers, her students, and their parents, regardless of the time, energy, or resistance that it takes. She is a leader in every sense of the word because she leads by example and creates new leaders by allowing others’ ideas to be just as important if not more important than her own. She has transformed Shue into a school where people want to be, and powerful learning happens here because of that fact. There’s a reason why teachers never want to leave once they work here, and there’s a reason why students want school breaks to end so they can come “home.” She is a LifeChanger for anyone with whom she comes into contact, and this is why she deserves this award!