Mary Gail Stablein Named "Friend of the Program"
This week, Mary Gail Stablein received the 2012 Circle of Excellence Award in the
category "Friend of the Program", having been selected by the Single Subject Credential
Program faculty for this honor. The annual award recognizes the contributions of a local educator for their contributions to and in support of the Single Subject Program which prepares beginning teachers to teach in a California public high school.
Stablein is an alumna of the Educational Leadership program at SSU, and many of the teachers on her faculty at Elsie Allen are graduates of the SSU Single Subject Program. The school continues to be a training ground for many candidates during their field experience semester. In the award ceremony, SSU lecturer and retired Elsie Allen teacher Kirsten Searby noted that many single subject candidates appreciate how helpful Principal Stablein has been to them as they prepare for their first teaching job, offering concrete advice about job interviews as well as a candid introduction to the realities of the impact of standardized testing data, NCLB legislation, and how that legislation relates to their classroom teaching.
Stablein is a dynamic and creative leader, qualities that serve her in her role as Principal of Elsie Allen High School. Elsie Allen serves a highly diverse population of 1150 students in the southwest part of Santa Rosa. Instead of viewing the diversity of the student body as an obstacle, the school embraces the diverse population as something to be celebrated and a opportunity for learning. The school's foyer is adorned with flags of fifty nations, each representing a home country of students at the school. When she is hiring teachers, Principal Stablein carefully selects candidates that are skillful in teaching populations of English Learners, and teachers who are passionate in their role to help every child achieve and have a positive high school experience, equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in college and careers.
High school students who excel in academics have an opportunity to participate in the University Center, which is a collaboration between SSU and Elsie Allen, upholding rigorous academic standards and an opportunity to take classes at the college level while still in high school. After graduating from the University Center program, students are guaranteed admission to SSU, although some go to colleges far away from home, including Harvard, University of Chicago, and the University of California.
One of the other special programs and career tracks at Elsie Allen include classes in Agricultural Sciences. The week I visited the campus, and took the photos for this article was the first time teachers were able to use a newly refurbished Ag Building, equipped with science labs and a forklift, welding station and other specialized equipment for students to learn skills for careers in farming and agriculture.
Offering programs and opportunities for kids to succeed and learn are essential to the program at Elsie Allen. Mary Gail Stablein exemplifies good administrative leadership because she knows that to be a good principal, she needs to be in touch with and care about the kids, stay in communication and be a support for her teaching staff, and collaborate effectively with community partners. Kristen Searby commented, "she has been instrumental in promoting the Single Subject program and assisting student teacher candidates to be informative, confident and successful. She values the work we do here in the school and is a great model for these beginning educators."