CHS principal speaks on school values at CBA luncheon

Published 3:12 pm Thursday, August 3, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

CHELSEA – Chelsea High School Principal Dr. Brandon Turner delivered an address on the upcoming school year during a Chelsea Business Alliance luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Turner spoke to those in attendance about what Chelsea High School has to offer and sought to provide a business perspective on how the school operates.

“We are a school that offers many opportunities for our kids, both academically and extracurricularly,” he said. “Academic wise, we serve any way or pathway that kids want to go down. Whether it’s simply to go to work or go to an Ivy League school—and we do have some kids that do that.”

Turner shared that CHS serves 1300 students in grades 9-12 and offers a variety of classes, including pre-AP and AP classes.

“If you want high-level stuff, we got it,” Turner said.

Turner shared that an AP chemistry class at CHS recently had a 100-percent pass rate on its AP exam.

“So, we’re selling in those ways, but we also have other offerings here too—particularly in the career tech field,” he said. “We offer pathways where kids can get certified here at our school with management, business information technology, drafting and design, marketing (and) cooperative education.”

Turner also shared that the school is proud of its healthcare academy which allows students to achieve certification as a nurse before they leave.

“We really do offer a great deal of things for our students,” he said.

According to Turner, 80-85 percent of CHS students attend college upon graduation.

“We’re student centered in what we do—that’s why we’re here,” Turner said. “We have to ask ourselves the questions, ‘Is what we’re doing conducive to students’ learning? Do we provide multiple opportunities for students to learn in multiple ways? And do we address the different learning needs that kids have, interests, aspirations (and) the cultural backgrounds that they bring to us?’ We look at all of that with our individual students.

“I tell my staff every year, when our kids walk off the stage, what I want them to be able to say is, ‘I was valued as person, I enjoyed my experience, I increased my academic knowledge (and) I’m prepared for the next step in my journey in life.’”

Turner said that CHS also believes strongly in collaboration to enhance its practice together.

“We examine data, we build relationships and we do that based on trust, respect, competence, personal regard for others and, most importantly, the integrity that we all bring,” he said. “We also ask our staff to be innovative, we want them to be constantly working to move forward, to be reflective, to be a lifelong-learned, creative, connected, inquisitive and principled about what (they) do.”

Turner also stressed the importance of professionalism and how, as adults with degrees, it is incumbent upon the staff to be the professional they claim to be.

“We will perpetuate the actions we exhibit,” he said. “If we’re professional and we do our job professionally, then students will follow—parents will be appreciative.”

The staff’s attitude about learning is mirrored by students and if they display passion for what they are doing the students will be more engaged, Turner said.

“We want to set and uphold high standards for ourselves and then start equipping our students with tools for success,” he said.

Turner also discussed the importance of fostering positive relationships, cultivating an environment of respect as well as the structure of leadership at the school.

“Part of my job is trying to lay a path down where they can do their jobs in the best way possible,” he said. “I will grant you autonomy based upon your level of effectiveness and competence.”

Collective responsibility is key for all of it, Turner said.

“We’re (a) team in which success is measured based on our collective performance,” he said.

Turner shared that the values of learning, service and character are constantly repeated.

“We’ll never get 100 percent of everybody doing everything like we want it to all the time,” he said. “We’re not naïve, but we have dealt with and seen gains just in the culture of our building. That’s our business working with kids.”