August 21, 2013 - There's an air of "change and excitement" wafting around the nearly vacant halls of Daniel Axford (DA) Elementary. When the school year starts in a few weeks, those halls will be abuzz with activity, and students will be greeted by a new principal, Chad Boyd.
Chad Boyd answers the phone as the new principal at DA Elementary. Photo by Trevor Keiser. (click for larger version)
"It's not just all the sudden I am the (new) principal," he said. "We'll have a couple new teachers to start the school year and a new early five's program as well."
Boyd was named principal earlier this month after four-year principal Joyce Brasington, stepped down to take an administrative job with the Troy school district.
"It's a great opportunity for me. I have a great knowledge of what's gone on at Daniel Axford," said Boyd, who's been a second grade teacher at DA the past five years. "To move up from the teacher to the principal role is just exciting. There are a lot of things I want to see and do as principal."
One of his goals is to build up the International Baccalaureate program at DA. As a teacher he received his Level 1 (curriculum) and Level 2 (action) IB certifications and helped lead Model Schools Training and assisted with integrating the philosophy with the district's International Baccalaureate unit planners.
"I can really speak from experience and lead with continued growth as far as student inquiry as part of the IB Program," he said. "That's a huge goal to continue that process."
He also wants to strengthen relationships within the community.
"That's one of the great things of moving up within the same school is there are a lot families I already know and have good relationships with," he said. "I want to continue to build those relationships and make the school an inviting place for parents, community members and businesses to come into and be proud of the things we do here."
Thirdly, he wants his position as principal not to be of a "boss" mentality, but one of a "servant."
"This position can be done in a bunch of different ways, but I think most importantly you're here to serve," added Boyd. "I want to be there to help the teachers, the students, the parent organizations and help improve the building. That's the kind of theme we have."
Boyd received his Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Social Studies, and a Master's Degree in Education for Educational Leadership. Both degrees are from Oakland University. He holds a State of Michigan Administrative Certification for both elementary and secondary; and is state certified to teach elementary with a social studies endorsement. He was named the 2011 Oxford Community Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. That same year he was named Daniel Axford Elementary Teacher of the Year, and received the honor of being nominated for the Oakland County Outstanding Teacher Award. In 2012, he was honored as a Michigan Teacher of the Year nominee.
As a district leader he was a member of the district's AdvancEd Steering Committee and prepared for Oxford School's district-wide Quality Assurance Review. Boyd has also been a member of the Oxford Education Association's Negotiating Team and Contract Committee. He worked collaboratively with district administration in both these capacities.
As a regional leader he was a member of an AdvancEd Quality Assurance Review Team, responsible for reviewing and determining recommendation for accreditation of other school districts. In 2011, he participated in the review of Seminole Academy, Mount Clemens Community School District, and in 2012 he assisted in reviewing Rose Pioneer Elementary, Holly Community Schools. In addition, he was part of the Oakland Education Federation's Teacher/Business Leader Exchange Program. Boyd attended the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education Spring Leadership Conference and explored ideas regarding the relationships between school districts and businesses.
Boyd moved to Oxford in 2000 with his wife Kris who was teaching in the Lapeer school district at the time and he was finishing up college. After student teaching at Clear Lake Elementary and being hired by the district, Boyd said Oxford has become "a part of who he is."
When not at school, he enjoys coaching for the Oxford Soccer Club as well as Oxford Parks and Recreation. He and Kris (who now teaches at Clear Lake) have three daughters, a fourth grader, a second grader and a kindergartner. Chad said it will be nice this year having all three daughters in school and the two youngest ones with him at work.
"I feel like I live here, so having them there here in the school day it will be kind of nice to be able to say hi to them at lunch, but If they ever have to come to the Principal's office though it's going to be interesting," he said with a laugh.
If Chad could have "drawn up the perfect scenario" for him and his family, "this is it," he said.
"I might have to retire right here from this room (the Principal's office at DA) in 20 years," he said. "For me loving early elementary and loving the leadership of the principal position this was a goal of mine; I'm not thinking 'what's the next goal.' I can picture myself here long term."
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.