Try as we might, we still make mistakes. We forgot to name Dianne Gorman in the article that appeared a couple of weeks ago. That piece, gave a good deal of information about Dianne, but forgot one very important piece of information: we forgot to mention her name.
Ms. Gorman mentioned in her bio that she had lived in the area since the age of five, that she went through the Butte Falls School system and then returned there to teach and now is the new half-time principal of the high school.
Butte Falls is now a charter school system. The emphasis of their entire system is on natural resources and each of the core classes is designed to take that into account. According to Gorman, the name of the course might be math, but that math might be used in figuring the total board feet in a tree, or measuring the height of a tree or figuring the diameter based on the girth of the stump. They may also figure the appropriate number of trees in a healthy acre of forest lands or some other facet of forest production and management.
Writing reports on those topics teaches proper business skills as well as math. All of it is designed to find an area where the student has an interest and once that interest is established, proceed on to helping the student develop expertise in the field.
Gorman and Dr. Courtney, share the duties of Principal at the high school. Dr. Courtney also splits his time with the district office and with the grade school. They keep in constant contact through texting and share the vision of what they call Positive Behavior Intervention and Support. This is designed to bring students’ scores more in line with national averages and both are working hard to make this happen. It also rewards students for correct behavior and disciplines those who purposely step out of line. Gorman emphasizes that regardless of the end result, both are treated fairly and equally.
In fact, it was Dr. Courtney who noticed that Gorman took the lead in many projects and that she proved herself to be very capable of handling responsibility. That is why he and the Board selected her for the position. While just a couple of weeks into the school year, Courtney has been well pleased by what is happening.
In addition to her leadership role as the principal, Gorman teaches math and business. Her math classes are advanced classes such as algebra II, geometry and calc. The small class size, she says, attract students from elsewhere and a bus routinely picks up several at the Walmart in Eagle Point to take them to Butte Falls classes. Students also find that the smaller size means more opportunity in sports, and frankly, more opportunity in general. The small school now has the same opportunities as do the larger schools.
Growing up in Butte Falls has proven to be a plus for this first-year principal. She knows the students, the families and the school. With an obvious dedication to learning, coming years probably are going to be good years for the Butte Falls schools.
The main goal for Dianne Gorman as she puts it, “respect.”