Monthly Archives: May 2018

May 28, 2018~School’s Out for Summer!

Reflections on my first year as ‘Principal Albrecht’


I have been in education now for 29 years but only one year as a principal. You would think that after all these years, there wouldn’t be that much more for me to learn but, oh how you’re wrong! I’ve always loved a good challenge and have often looked for a new opportunity to grow and step outside of my comfort zone a bit. I did that when I went from teaching music for 15 years to the classroom to teach 5th grade. And again, when I left McKinley after 18 years to join the staff at the newly formed Canon Exploratory School. Once again, I challenged myself when I started the middle school here and then left 2 years later to be the Dean of Students at Washington. But I have never faced as daunting of a challenge or stepped so far out of my comfort zone as I have as principal of this building.

Although I know I still have much to learn, I do believe that I’ve learned more during the last 10 months than ever before in my career. This year our school theme was trees. I’ve always loved trees and I feel you can learn so many things from them. Using the lovely little poem above, allow me to share some of what I’ve learned.

Stand tall and proud: I am so proud of the work our staff and students have accomplished not just this year but during the 6 years of CES’s existence. We have taken what was once a very successful but small Madison School and offered this model to hundreds more students than  was possible before. Although there have been bumps along the way and a learning curve that is still not complete, our teachers are passionate and dedicated about what we do and making it more successful every year. I would challenge you to find a harder working and selfless group of people as we have here. That includes many of our parents who volunteer their time and energy in ways that allow us to do what we do and without them we would be lost.

Sink your roots deep into the earth: In order for us to continue to move in an upward trajectory, we need to look at the work we’ve done in the past–going all the way back to the beginning of Madison to just this last year. We have to learn from our successes and our failures. As we always tell kids, we all make mistakes; what’s important is that we learn from them and do better next time. Believe me, I made my fair share of mistakes. I have learned and I will do better next time. As trees endure the winds of time, their roots reach deeper and grow stronger. I know there will be more mistakes to make and new challenges to face, but I know that I’ve come out of this year better and stronger than before.

Be content with your natural beauty: CES is different from other schools. I’ve learned that this is perfect for many and difficult for some. I’ve learned not to take it personally when people don’t like you or what you do. I’ve learned to understand that in order for me to become the best version of myself and for CES to do the same, I have to be content with the fact that not everyone will love us, but we can’t compromise our foundational principles and philosophies to please people. We have many good things happening here–our natural beauty– and we need to embrace our positive core in order to become even more beautiful.

Go out on a limb: This year, we have re-grounded who we are as Canon Exploratory School and realized that although there are terrific things happening here, we can’t get too comfortable. Exploratory learning should be organic and evolve with the changing world and clientele. We are going out on limb and taking the risk of trying some new things and challenging ourselves to self-assess the work we do to see if it’s still “the best work”. This next year, and the years after, may look different than before–and that’s a good thing! We need to take risks and go out on that limb.

Drink plenty of water: I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a workaholic! However, I’ve learned that I have to make sure to “stay hydrated” and have balance in my life or I don’t have enough to give to others. I hope our teachers have learned that too!

Remember your roots: My roots are in teaching. I have taught children my entire adult life. I still teach kids but in a different way than before. Now, instead of math or reading,  it’s about how we treat one another, how we can be successful, how we learn from our mistakes, and how we can be good people among many other things.  I am also an instructional leader/teacher for teachers so they can become the best versions of themselves.

Enjoy the view: At some point this year, I realized I needed to just sit back and appreciate where I am. I am in a position and school I love. I work with the best people!! We have the most wonderful parents and terrific kids. And we do all of this in what is probably the best school district to work for in the state. I am a truly blessed person! It’s a great view!!


This next year, our school theme will be about the garden:

advicefromagardenThere is still much more to learn!!

Enjoy the view~our year together~

Below is the video I created for the kids from many of the blog pictures I’ve used this year. Enjoy!


Have a wonderful Summer and thank you for everything!

Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal




May 20~Counting Down the Days

As our year winds down to an end, activities wind up! We have so much going on and everyone is having a great time. This last week our students presented their last projects of the school year and there were many end-of-the-year activities. This next week brings even more including our 6th Grade Continuation and our 8th Grade Promotion.  For now let’s look back on the last two weeks (I missed publishing the blog this last week). Hang on–Summer’s almost here!

YETI Blossom 5K


We are so excited that 21 students participated in the Blossom 5K through the YETI program! Last year we only had 5 runners, so the increase is very exciting!  The weather was beautiful and the trail was great! We ran and walked east on the River Walk from duck park, under the 9th street bridge, and around a loop before heading back to the finish. We hope to see even more students participate next year! Thanks go to Mr. Dieckman and Mrs. Daly for coaching.

End of the Year Fun

This time of year there are so many things going on it’s kind of hard to keep up. In the last two weeks we have had a pie the teacher assembly and a blackout party for fundraiser rewards, a middle school dance, all-city band concert, variety show, Kindergarten Buddy Day, End-of-the-Year celebrations for STUCO and Peer Mediators, All-City Band and swimming just to name a few! Whew! Still more to do this week but then it’s Summer!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks for reading!

Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal


May 6, 2018~It’s May!!

I can’t believe May is already here! Where did this year go? Already, just one week into the month, we hit the ground running and have had many events with more to come. Hang on–it will go quickly and there’s still lots to do!

Alpha Delta Kappa Teacher of the Month:

Krystal Saffold!

Mrs. Saffold

Kelly Albrecht, Michelle Hinsey, Krystal Saffold


Our very own Mrs. Saffold was awarded the April Teacher of the Month Award from the education sorority, Alpha Delta Kappa. We all know she is very deserving and CES is so proud to her call her ours!

Book Fair and Art Show

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We had another very successful Spring Book Fair and Art Show. Parents were able to tour the building and see all of the beautiful art our kids have created this year thanks to our wonderful Art teacher, Terri Wrona. They were also able to be a part of a collective piece of art. We are working on a tile mosaic that will be installed on the wall in the back of the building in our garden area. Parents came in to paint their very own beautiful tile that will become a part of that bigger work. I want to give a huge thank you to Mrs. Oddo for once again organizing a terrific book fair and to all of the volunteers who came out to help this event be successful.

Spirit Lap Fundraiser

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our annual Spirit Lap Fundraiser was on Tuesday and we had perfect weather for this fun event. As you can see in the pictures, we not only had all of the kids running but also many of our staff. Thank you Mrs. Hanenburg for not only helping make this day run smoothly but also for creating a schedule for us that would work in light of the unexpected date change; and thank you also for your undying enthusiasm that helps to keep us all running. Additional thanks to our tireless PTO for another amazing fundraising event!!


An Old Fashioned May Day Bike Parade!

We celebrated May Day with our first annual bike parade. We all decided that it was such a good time, it needed to become an annual event. Students and their families decorated their bikes–some even wore an accompanying costume–and paraded around our parking lot. Kona Ice came too and provided icy treats for this perfect evening. Thank you to Mrs. Saffold for organizing this event! If you missed it, plan for next year and let’s see how many more creative people we can get out there!

Kindergarten goes fishing…for learning

Our own Mr. Alan Hook (you may remember him from a previous blog where he lost a bit of hair!) helped our kindergartners learn about life cycles by bringing in some fish he caught just for them. They dissected the fish to learn about what they eat. Guess what they found….insects! It was disgusting and gross and so of course, a very cool way to learn! Thanks Mr. Alan for showing us how we are all educators at CES!


Thanks for reading! Kelly Albrecht, Principal