New Angell Elementary School principal Anthony Stamm, who is hard at work familiarizing himself with the community and handling the job's day-to-day administrative tasks, says seeing students succeed is the best part of his day.
Stamm joined the Berkley School District on July 1. He previously served as an instructional specialist at Pembroke Elementary School in Birmingham Public Schools and before that as a teacher in Southfield Public Schools. He received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Oakland University.
"Mr. Stamm was selected from an applicant pool of over 50 candidates after interviews with Angell staff, parents and district administrators," BSD Superintendent Dennis McDavid wrote in a message to parents after Stamm's selection in April. "All agreed he is a wonderful fit for Angell and are confident he will continue all the outstanding things happening there."
Stamm recently took some time to answer a few questions from Berkley Patch. Read on to find out what he thinks makes a good teacher, his advice for students, his goals for the building and more.
What inspired you to enter the field of education?
I was inspired to become an educator because I always enjoyed working with children. My first interactions were while I played basketball in high school. We would help out with the local AAU teams and often go read to students in the local elementary schools. This inspired me to continue my work with children because the immediate impact you can make on a child's life in invaluable. Whether it was through school, sports, or after school activities, I always found a joy in working with children.
What are your goals for Angell Elementary School?
My personal goal for Angell Elementary is to become more familiar with the school and the community as a whole. I have been fortunate enough to live and work in the area since I began my educational career, in Southfield and later in Birmingham. I am working with the staff to get to know students and families so we can work collectively to improve Angell School in order to prepare our students for the next phase in their education.
My goal for the building is to improve the amount of technology that is available to the students of Angell. Whether it is through grants, donations, or fund raisers we would like to see increased use of technology. I believe that in order to prepare students for the real world we need to teach them within the world they are living.
What's new this year at Angell? What changes do you plan to make?
There are a few new faces to Angell this year, other than myself. We have had an opportunity to hire five new teachers since I came on board in June. In addition to hiring, we have also added new laptops instead of a traditional lab. We are in the process purchasing new technology to improve instruction and place into students’ hands.
What do you think makes a good educator and how do you think teachers' effectiveness can be measured?
I believe that a good educator impacts their students for years to come. They prepare students for the rest of their life, not just the next question or assessment. An educator’s effectiveness can be measured in how much they get students to think independently and to justify their responses. Another great characteristic of an effective educator is who is doing the most talking within the classroom. The person doing the most talking is the one doing the most learning, therefore an effective teacher gets students to talk through problems and explain their thinking.
What were you like as a student?
I enjoyed school because it came easy to me. However, I often did not feel challenged to perform up to my ability. I believe that part of my task as an administrator is to make sure Angell is a place where students will be challenged: challenged to think, to question, and challenged to become better individuals.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
I currently live in Ferndale with my wife and 9-month-old daughter. We love to visit the zoo, sporting events, and look forward to family activities outside in the warm summer months. Most of all we love to travel and spend time with our extended families.
What's the best part of your day as principal?
The best part of my day is anytime I get to interact with children but particularly when I can see them be successful. Whether it is at specific outside events, respect circle, and day-to-day activities in school, seeing the way a child can light up when they are successful or recognized cannot be replaced.
What's your advice for students?
My advice for students is to simply become the best at whatever you do. Whether it is sports, school, being a brother/sister, or choice of career. Become the best, no one has ever been faulted for working hard and taking initiative.