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Thomas R.

DeGrand
Professional Growth Plan
EA 740 EA 701 EA 702 EA 743
January 10, 2015 (Original)
March 1, 2015 (1st update)
May 10, 2015 (2nd update)
June 14, 2015 (3rd & final update)
1. Goal Setting
What do you want to accomplish as a result of your Ed. Sp. Program?
o To develop my professional leadership skills. My hope is that this program
will build a foundation of skills and knowledge that I can take with me as I
enter into an administrative position. With that said, my plan is to apply and
be accepted into an administrative role during this program or immediately
following. This program may be a catalyst for my hiring into such a position.
My confidence going into this position will be much higher due to the
experience and knowledge gained throughout this great program.
Where to you want to be career-wise in 5 years? 10 years?
o In 5 years, I would like to be in a middle school assistant principal position,
ready to move into an elementary principalship.
o In 10 years, my goal is to be in my 5th or 6th year as an elementary principal,
leading a school of students and staff. At this point, I would expect to be
foundationally set in my position, kinks worked out, and leading a school into
its best years yet. I compare this to my 5th or 6th year of teaching when I
really started growing as a teacher, and not just trying to survive from day to
day.
When you look back at the end of your career, how you do you want to be
remembered?
o I want to be remembered as a person that always had the best interest of his
students at heart. This applies to my years as a teacher, as well as
administrator, possibly central office administrator, and hopefully professor.
My goal is to have my name be mentioned when students respond to the
question of which teacher truly impacted them. This is why I wake up every
morning to go to work...to impact children in a positive way.
Do you have other professional goals that are not addressed in the previous
questions?
o As I mentioned in my previous answer, following approximately 10 years of
being an elementary principal, my goal would be to move into a central office
position like assistant superintendent or director of human resources. If
central office is of no interest to me, then I would want to pursue being a
professor in the School of Education and Human Services at Oakland
University. Teaching the next generation of teachers seems to be the ultimate
way to give back to a career that has given me so much.
2. Your Platform

Our actions as leaders stem from our core beliefs. Respond to the following questions
in no more than a seven sentence paragraph (each) about where you stand on these
issues.
o What are the most important aims of public education in America?
To provide a free, QUALITY education to all children in this country.
Students will develop mentally and physically in all subject areas, as
well as social skills, listening and speaking skills, and how to be a
responsible citizen of our country and of this world.
o What is your definition of effective teaching?
Engaging students mentally and physically, pushing them to limits
they never anticipated they could reach. Challenging those that need
challenged, and supporting those that need the support. Providing
experiences that will help them in the 21st century, such as
engagement with technology, group work, self-discovery, and selfreflection. Building perseverance through problem solving. Making
learning fun!
o What are the most important needs of teachers?
Time to self-reflect, plan, and meet with their PLCs. They need the
resources that are required to teach the units. They need the freedom
to be creative. The need the opportunity to teach and not just assess.
Teachers need to feel respected by their district, community, state, and
country.
o What is your definition of a good school?
A school made up of leaders. Not just one leader (principal), but a
mass of teachers that are taking ownership of the school by helping to
lead it. A good school focuses on the success of its students, and what
to do when success is not happening. It involves all stakeholders,
including the staff, students, parents, and community. A good school
has a clear mission, vision, values, and goals, and ensures that they
revolve around what skills students will need in this 21st century to be
successful. Lastly, it engages in data-based decision making while
focusing on the idea of collaboration, not isolation.
o Create and answer one additional question that will add to your platform.
What is your definition of a good school district?
A district that is focused on the success of the students, and
making the decisions that are needed to most effectively impact
that success. A good school district looks through all four of
Bolman & Deals (2008) lenses (structural, human resources,
political, and symbolic) when they are running the district. It
collaborates with all stakeholders, including students, staff,
parents, and the community. It has a clear mission, vision,
values, and goals, and ensures that they revolve around what
skills students will need in this 21st century to be successful.
Finally, a good school district has an administration, school
board, and union that respect one another and work together in
order to provide the best education possible for its students.

3. Career Inventory
What are your most significant professional accomplishments?
i. Being selected as a district representative for the Oakland Schools
Aspiring Principals Leadership Academy
ii. Recipient of the 2015 Oakland University Jacqueline I. Lougheed
Endowed Scholarship Award
iii. Being chosen to be the WBEA Elementary Grievance Chair, a member of
the WBEA Executive Board, and a member of the WBEA Bargaining
Team
How have you stretched beyond your professional zone?
i. I feel participating in the Oakland Schools Aspiring Principals Leadership
Academy, becoming a leading role in the WBEA, and enrolling in
Oakland Universitys Education Specialist in Leadership program have
been my way of stretching beyond my professional zone.
What have you done to develop professionally?
i. Taken on leadership roles in all capacities of my career:
1. Member of CSI Leadership Team
2. PLC Facilitator
3. Member of WBEA Executive Board
4. WBEA Elementary Grievance Chair
5. Member of WBEA Bargaining Team
6. WBEA Membership Engagement Activity Chair
7. Participated in the 2014 Oakland Schools Aspiring Principals
Leadership Academy
8. Student in Oakland Universitys Education Specialist Program
Who have you networked with, been mentored by, or been advocated for?
i. Martin Chaffee, School Quality Consultant (Oakland Schools)
ii. Jason Parrott, PhD (Principal in Royal Oak, mentor)
iii. James Scrivo (Principal in West Bloomfield, mentor)
iv. Joey Spano (Director of Community Education, WB)
v. Sally Unrath (Enrichment & Recreation Supervisor, WB)
Include a copy of your resume. (completed)
4. Leadership Knowledge, Skills, & Dispositions Inventory
Using the ELCC School Leadership Self Inventory, identify your strengths and
developmental needs. Each of the six standards has three inventory sections.
Respond to the indicators in the knowledge, disposition and performance
indicators sections no matter what your current leadership position happens so to
be.
Which leadership indicators surface as your strengths and which as developmental
needs?
o My leadership strengths according the EdS MI School Leader Standards
Student PRE-Survey include:
I understand and can respond to community interests and needs by
building and sustaining positive school relationships with families
and caregivers. (Standard IV)

I understand and can act with integrity and fairness to ensure a


school system of accountability for every students academic and
social success. (Standard V)
I understand and can model principles of self-awareness, reflective
practice, transparency, and ethical behavior as related to their roles
within the school. (Standard V)
I understand and can safeguard the values of democracy, equity,
and diversity within the school. (Standard V)
o My leadership developmental needs according to the EdS MI School
Leader Standards Student PRE-Survey include:
Understanding of school vision (Standard I)
I am in my first year of being a member on our CSI team. I
am beginning to understand the process.
Understanding of creating and sustaining school culture (Standard
II)
I feel I am one of the driving forces of creating a successful
school culture in our school, however, being a member of
our Social Committee and a leader in one of our most
influential PLCs, is not enough to say it is a strength. I feel
I need to be a louder voice in terms of creating a
successful school culture.
Understanding of school management (Standard III)
It would be a stretch to think I am even at a beginning stage
here. I am learning how to manage a school through my
EdS classes, the Oakland Schools Aspiring Principals
Leadership Academy, internships, and observations of my
current principal. Learning how and actually doing it are
two different things, so I will need to wait until I am in a
role of actually managing a school before I can really start
to develop in this area.
Understanding of school collaboration with faculty, community
members, and families (Standard IV)
While I feel one of my strengths is communicating with
families, that is in the capacity of being a teacher. With my
current role, most of this standard is not applicable or at a
beginning stage.
Understanding School Ethics, Integrity, Fairness, and Practice
(Standard V)
Legal consequences of decision-making in the school,
social justice, and advocating for public education at the
state and national levels are areas of developmental needs.
I feel the law class that will take place in the summer of
2015 will help to develop better understanding in this
standard.
5. Professional Development Resources Inventory

What people are available to you and how can they assist in your leadership
development?
i. Christine Abbott, PhD (Professor at OU)- She can help me as I build my
leadership skills and knowledge in this EdS program.
ii. Lindson Feun, PhD (Professor at OU)- He can assist me with data
analysis.
iii. Joe Brandell, PhD (Professor at OU)- He can help me with curriculum and
staff development. He also works in my school district, so he should be a
great resource for me.
iv. Martin Chaffee, School Quality Consultant (Oakland Schools)- He can
help me in all areas of PD as a teacher-leader/administrator. He would
also be a great resource for facilitating meetings.
v. Jason Parrott, PhD (Principal in Royal Oak, mentor)- He will be a great
resource for the everyday duties of being a principal.
vi. James Scrivo (Principal in West Bloomfield, mentor)- Jim will also be a
nice resource for the everyday duties of a principalship. Since he is the
principal at my school, he is much more available.
vii. Sally Drummond (Principal in West Bloomfield)- Sally is in my cohort
through OU, therefore, we are working together a great deal. I feel the
relationship that we are building throughout this program is going to be
very valuable as I enter into administration.
viii. Dennis Rapal (AP in West Bloomfield)- Denny and I already had a great
relationship prior to him getting the AP position this past year. He will be
a nice go-to person for quick questions, or to simply find out more about
the first years as an administrator.
ix. Joey Spano (Director of Community Education, WB)- Joey and I have
built a great relationship over the years as I have worked with Community
Education. She will be another resource that I could go to for any
questions about administration, especially those related to central office.
What professional organizations have resources that might assist in your
development?
i. MEMSPA/MASSP- These will be nice resources once I acquire an
administrative position.
ii. ASCD
Which web sites, books, journals, conferences, publishers and other resources are
on your list?
i. MEMSPA (http://memspa.mistaff.com/)
ii. MASSP (http://massp.mistaff.com/)
iii. Failure is NOT an Option, Alan Blankstein, 2013
iv. Professional Learning Communities at Work, Richard DuFour & Rober
Eaker, 1998
v. The multiple resources I received in the Aspiring Principals Leadership
Academy through Oakland Schools.
What resources outside of your professional life might be available & useful?

i. Administrators from my hometown of Saline may be able to help with my


development as a leader, as well as serve as a contact/reference during my
search for an administrative position.
6. Self-Discovery
What have you learned about yourself through personality type inventories or
other profiles?
i. DISC Personality Assessment (Aspiring Principals Academy- 2014)
1. I am a C/C-I blend
2. cautious, calculating, competent, conscientious, contemplative,
careful, perfectionist, precise, exacting, accurate, theoretical
3. want to know the why behind everything
4. like consistent quality and excellence
5. believes that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly
6. needs quality answers, value, and excellence
7. ideal environment is structured with procedures, accuracy, and
quality
8. reserved/task-oriented
9. Measure twice...and cut once!
10. Comfortable working in a defined system
11. deep thinker and able communicator
12. fears criticism of the quality of his or her work
13. diplomatic, tactful, self-depreciating, worrisome
14. blind spot: remaining objective when confronted with criticism of
his/her work
15. slow and critical thinker, logical, fact-based, organized, follows
rules, dont show feelings, private, few but good friends, big
picture, outlines, ask Why? and How?
ii. Values Sort (Aspiring Principals Academy & OU- 2014)
1. Most important values to me: knowledge, pleasure/fun, sense of
accomplishment, security, mature love, health, family, structure,
quality, efficiency, perfection, fitness, honesty
iii. True Colors (Scotch Elementary-2010, OU- 2014)
1. 2010- Gold
2. 2014- Gold/Green
3. Gold- organized, structured, dependable, consistent, responsible,
rule follower, threatened by change, traditional, predictable,
family-oriented, security
4. Green- seek answers and explanations, inspires, independent,
curious, logical, analytical, dont express emotions openly,
perfectionist, honest, accurate, efficient, fair, cool-calm-collect
How have you been affected by life choices & challenges?
i. I had a difficult choice when I went to MSU...Do I major in criminal
justice or education? My father and two brothers were all cops (or soon to
be). I loved the idea of following in the footsteps of my dad, but I also
liked the idea of being different. I lived through the effects of having a
dad as a police officer, and I didnt know if I wanted that for my own

children. Plus, I had always been told throughout my schooling that Id


make a great teacher. So I went against the grain and chose education. I
know in my heart that it was the right choice for me, but there have been
days when I questioned it.
How do you perceive yourself as a leader?
i. I am trustworthy. People see the dedication I have and the calculated
responses, which allows them to be confident that the decisions I am
making are the best ones available. I feel I have a calm demeanor. I dont
let emotions get the best of me, which as a leader, this is an important
quality. I feel I am a professional, and I always act as one, whether it be in
the classroom, meetings, phone calls, or emails. While I am professional,
I also understand the value of having fun. I try to always keep it light.
This business is very difficult, and without an opportunity to laugh makes
it even harder. I am a lifelong learner. I am constantly trying to build my
skills as a teacher and teacher-leader. I listen to what people have to say.
To me, this is one of the most important skills to have as a leader.
How are you perceived by others?
i. I am told often that people like my demeanor. They see me as someone
who is cool, calm, and collect, and that I dont let emotions overtake me. I
think others perceive me as a hard-worker and goal-oriented. They say
that I am very serious, but I also know when to loosen up. I have
developed our grade-level PLC into the light-hearted, hard-working, taskoriented team that it is today. People also see me as being very structured
and organized. Parents tell me that my love for children, ability to relate
with them, and dedication to building them into the best they can be is
very apparent.
What personal feedback have you received from family, friends, or co-workers?
i. Friends and family say that I am a tremendous leader with drive and
direction. Co-workers have told me that they would happily work for me
if I were to become their administrator.
What are your strengths and where do you want to improve?
i. Strengths:
1. organization
2. motivation/determination
3. focused
4. ability to work and relate with students
5. ability to work and relate with parents and staff
6. knowledge of curriculum
7. knowledge of contractual agreements and due process
8. behavior intervention
ii. Areas of Improvement:
1. feeling comfortable with public speaking
2. building more knowledge of the school improvement plan process
3. not taking negative feedback personally
7. Leadership Development Activities

Given the information you shared in sections 1, 3, 4, 5, & 6 of this plan, describe how
you plan to become involved in one or more of the leadership development activities
listed below or one or more of your own creation.
Mentoring or being mentored
o I act as an informal mentor currently for some teachers in my grade level.
However, next year I would like to take on the role as a formal mentor for
a beginning teacher. I have done this in the past, but I would like to do it
again.
Peer coaching
o I would like to initiate a peer coaching program (teacher lab) within our
5th grade team, that could move beyond our grade level if it proves
successful.
Study group(s)
Action Research
o Ideas have surfaced about completing action research within our gradelevel PLC. I dont see this happening until we have a longer, more
consistent time to meet weekly.
School Improvement/Professional Learning Community
o I am currently on the CSI Leadership Team, and I look forward to
continuing this leadership role as we work to improve on our school
goals. Our school has been actively engaged in PLCs for approximately
10 years. Though we are involved in grade-level PLCs, I believe we need
to develop a better plan to provide teachers sufficient time to meet in their
PLCs and do quality work by looking at student data and developing our
instructional practices. PLCs should be our main source of professional
development, and part of my role on the WBEA Bargaining Team is to
get this time embedded into our contractual day.
Accreditation process
o We went through this process this year prior to my active role on the CSI
Leadership Team. We will not get assessed again for 5 years. I do plan
on continuing in my leadership role on the team to ensure we are moving
forward towards our next assessment.
Reflective journaling
o Through my EdS classes, I do a great deal of reflective journaling. I will
continue to take advantage of this opportunity, and I hope to continue this
practice after the program ends.
Professional organization activity
o I am currently in the process of organizing a WBEA Membership
Engagement Activity for the spring. Just last week I sent out a survey
asking for input from the 330+ members. Once the deadline comes, I will
be going through the data to determine the activity that we will do. In
addition, I will be applying for a grant through the MEA that is
specifically set aside for membership activities like this. We are still
deciding on whether or not this will remain a membership activity, or if
we will extend an invite to all staff in the district.
Graduate Education

o Oakland Universitys Education Specialist Program


Professional Publication
Professional Reading
o Most of my professional reading will come from my EdS classes. On
average, we are responsible for reading 3-4 textbooks per semester. Also,
my principal will occasionally email or give us an education article to
read on our own time.