Concordia Lutheran High School

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My role as the Assistant Head of School

As I assumed a new role this summer the first, and coincidentally the very Lutheran question that people ask is “What does that mean?” Scarily, my first thought was the first and last item on the job description: “All of the jobs the Head of School doesn’t want to or have time to do.”

In reality, it turned into something much more, and thankfully something I believe God has blessed me uniquely to do.

First off, I continue to provide leadership and vision for all campus technology. The way I typically describe it, “if it has a blinky light, I’m responsible for it.” What it really means is that I’m responsible for forecasting, leading, providing for implementation and providing for ongoing support for any technology initiatives Concordia pursues.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • The integration of our core databases to provide better communications and relationship building from the inquiry/admission phase through alumni phase. This includes the rollout of our new school database system, OnCampus.
  • Management and security of our entire technology infrastructure including phones, computers, copiers, email, cloud storage, wireless/wired networks and bandwidth. Special note: In October we will be increasing our internet bandwidth tenfold to provide better access to vital curricular, business and other cloud-based resources.
  • Oversight, management and execution of our 1:1 initiative. (Watch for a future blog post on potential modifications to this program for the 2017/18 school year to allow for an expanded list of acceptable devices.)
  • Connecting teachers and staff to appropriate professional development related to their areas of responsibility.

Secondly, we have added two new administrators in the academic program in Mr. Patrick Frerking and Mr. Phil Brackmann. I serve as a resource to them as they work to become familiar, not only with their new roles in the context of Concordia Lutheran High School, but also to bring them up to speed on situations and initiatives we began before their arrival. This helps to assure a smooth transition as they continue to establish themselves as the servant leaders of the academic program.

Thirdly, and frankly what gets me out of bed every morning, I am responsible to the Head of School for any strategic projects or initiatives we are pursuing as an organization.

Mr. Mychal Thom and I like to call these “disruptions.” Most of these will directly impact the daily operations of Concordia; however, others will be focused on the business or development/advancement functions of Concordia. Two of these that you will read about in future blog posts are our partnership with a new school startup in Dalian, China — Concordia Dalian International High School — and a new scheduling model. This new model will affect the daily 8-to-3 schedule to provide a wider range of choices for students; work to minimize disrupted classes; provide appropriate time for classes to have in-depth studies of topics or to do labs/projects; provide for more time to receive extra help or collaborate with others for help; and, most importantly, provide for more time for us to intentionally build, instruct and guide students in the development in their faith in Jesus Christ.

Finally, Concordia administrators recognize that an important part of leading the school is being present to provide resources, answers, or to simply serve as a sounding board for concerns, questions and problems that arise on a daily basis. We also recognize that it is important for us to continue to develop our skills and strengths as leaders or to provide for the development of others. At times that will require us to be out of the building from time to time.

To this end it is my responsibility to ensure that I understand the unique responsibilities of the members of the leadership team to provide that local leadership when they are not present on campus. Also, when I am away, they can provide the same sounding board for people.

I am delighted to continue to serve the Concordia community in this new role and look forward to providing further details on these exciting projects, initiatives and “disruptions” we are working on as we pursue Christ-Centered educational excellence that equips individuals for lifelong learning and service as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Joshua Sommermeyer,
Assistant Head of School