August 11, 2022
Dear Afton Families,
Throughout my two-year fellowship appointment at the US Department of Education, I had the opportunity to engage in the important work of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Effective Educator Development Division on a daily basis. My experience has been the pinnacle to my thirty-two-year career in education, and I am grateful to have been selected to participate in this incredible fellowship with the support of the Pennsbury school board and administration. As a result of my fellowship, I know I return to the field a better practitioner and school leader.
Access to a national perspective on education provided the means to elevate my understanding of the current educational issues and challenges and expanded my capacity to lead with clear vision and intent. The fellowship also afforded me multiple opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue with US Department of Education leadership at a critical time within the context of the COVID pandemic. | appreciated the ability to speak from the experiences in the field and to be heard. This level of advocacy and fact-sharing was critical to secure the much-needed support that classrooms required throughout the pandemic.
With my own interest in developing the strategic instructional leadership of principals, I appreciated the innumerable invitations to participate in activities centered on increasing principals' capacity to lead effectively, to network with principals across the nation, and to gain access to leadership at NAESSP, NASSP, and AASA. I also continued to expand my partnership with National Blue Ribbon Schools and the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership Committee. In addition, my fellowship afforded me the opportunity to present nationally at Teach to Lead and ASCD summits on the topic of effective principal leadership. I also contributed extensively to the US Department of Education's commitment to retain and recruit highly qualified principals and was invited to provide feedback to Harvard University's principals' preparation program.
Throughout the fellowship, I maintained close contact with the acting principals of Afton, the teachers, and central administration. I look forward to a seamless transition to the principalship and reconnecting with Afton students and families. My deepest appreciation and admiration is extended to Mrs. Gregory and Ms. McGinley for their outstanding leadership during my special assignment.
Please enjoy these summer days with much laughter, and feel free to stop by the Afton office to say hello, as I would welcome your visit. I plan to be in the office with the exception of the week of July 18th, when I will be teaching a graduate educational leadership course at Lehigh University. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing everyone at Back to School Nights and the Afton Family picnic. It's good to be coming home!
Take good care,
Joseph P. Masgai, Ed.D.