Meet Your New Principal: Berkshire's Jason Clinkscale
Birmingham Patch brings you the third in a series of profiles of Birmingham's newest principals in town.
There are five new principals at Birmingham Public Schools this year, and they're all excited to meet their students and the Birmingham community.
Comprising this new class of principals, all of whom replaced resigning or retiring administrators during the summer, are: Jamii Hitchcock at Beverly Elementary, Deana Lancaster at Seaholm High School, Jason Clinkscale at Berkshire Middle School, Laura Tinsley at the Midvale Early Childhood Center and Susan Crocker at Pembroke Elementary.
Patch is catching up with all of Birmingham's new principals and introducing them to you in a series of profiles. Today, we're talking to:
School: Berkshire Middle School
Replacing: Jim Moll, who retired at the end of last year.
History: Clinkscale grew up in Southfield and has taught in the Birmingham-Southfield area his entire career.
Clinkscale attended Wayne State as an undergraduate and then Michigan State for his masters in education administration. In 1999, Clinkscale took a job at Southfield Public Schools, teaching seventh-grade science for seven years and serving as interim principal at Levey Middle School in 2005.
In 2006, Clinkscale was hired as assistant principal at Berkshire and has been in the middle school's main office ever since under the tutelage of 38-year Birmingham schools veteran Jim Moll. Since being at Berkshire, Clinkscale has served as Berkshire's athletic director, coordinator for ACT Explore and chairman for the Birmingham Achievement Gap Committee.
Plans for 2011-12: Clinkscale said one of Berkshire’s biggest challenges is the changing cut scores for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) exam. (For a complete list of Berkshire’s 2010 MEAP scores, visit the Berkshire MEAP page.)
With the cut scores changing this year, Clinkscale said the percentage of students who meet or exceed state standards could drop dramatically in the coming year.
“(The question will be) how do we address students not proficient on the MEAP. How are we going to rise and meet the challenge?" he said.
Clinkscale also said his plans are to grow current initiatives started by the district and Berkshire administration, including providing support for staff and extra resources for struggling students. Clinkscale also said he and new assistant principal Joanna McKinney will begin focusing on enrichment opportunities for students in grades 3-8, particularly at Berkshire's feeder elementary schools, to provide a better transition for students coming to middle school
"We will be focusing on enrichment opportunities that will academically challenge our students to reach new heights of performance beyond the traditional classroom setting," he said.
Why he loves Berkshire: As Clinkscale said: "I love being at Berkshire because of the way students, staff, parents and even members of the community come together to support our school. Berkshire is a great place to work, learn and grow because of the collaborative nature of all our stakeholders. We tend to do a great job focusing on and achieving our common goals."
Message to parents and students: As the school year approaches, Clinkscale said he's excited to serve Berkshire's students, parents and staff.
"I can’t wait to work with the staff and parents to help all of our students reach their true potential. My advice to all students is that the first step to reaching your goals in life is to have a positive attitude. Your attitude truly makes a huge difference!"
For more Back to School coverage, check out Birmingham Patch's Back to School Guide 2011.