After 35 years in education, Paul Holland is joining Wellington Schools as Westwood Elementary’s new principal.
Hired just last month, Holland is still learning about the school and district. He’s still meeting some teachers and staff for the first time and doesn’t want to begin changing aspects of Westwood until he knows more about how the school operates.
“It’s really hard to make changes until you really understand where the strengths and weaknesses are,” he said. “Hopefully at the beginning of this year I’ll be able to meet with teachers and the grade-level teams and start to formulate what this is all about.”
But Holland is sure he has what it takes to help turn the struggling Wellington school district around.
“Wellington has the advantage of bringing someone in that doesn’t have to learn how to be a principal and those kind of things,” he said. “That comes in already under my belt. Hopefully I can now just become a part of the team that helps out the other people.”
He plans to implement a practice he’s used in the past that he refers to as building on the “three legs of the milking stool.”
“That’s the family, the students, and the school working together,” he said. “If each one does their job a very solid education will happen.”
Although he’s new to the district, Holland does know that some staff reshuffling was done before he joined the district and he isn’t the only one that’s new to Westwood.
“We’ve got some new people in the building who may have been other places in Wellington and that’ll take some time for them to get to know each other and trust each other,” he said. “I think before we can really maximize our benefit to kids we have to trust one another as a staff.”
For example, Jennifer Garrett taught eighth grade last year and is at Westwood this year to teach first-graders.
“Fortunately we’ve got a veteran team and it’s a matter of us now figuring out who we are and how we relate and making this team a success here at Westwood,” he said.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise
New Westwood Elementary School principal Paul Holland is all about being part of a team.