My name is Brad McEachern, and I am Superintendent of Warren ISD. My wife Jana and I have been married for almost 23 years and have three children. Caitlin is at Texas A&M studying to become a teacher, while Chase is a junior and Claire is in seventh grade. My wife often accuses me of being the fourth child of the family because I am often right in the middle of many of the “disasters” in our house. I believe that you should have fun in all you do – thus; I work hard and play hard.
As the son of a teacher and coach, I am very competitive. I want to be the best at everything I am a part of. I have tried to take that approach into everything that I do. I am also lucky that Jana is an instructional technologist for our educational service center. She is extremely good at what she does and continually motivates me to try new things. She is truly the spark behind my fire.
I spent 8 years teaching and coaching at the junior high and high school level. I was a coach who truly enjoyed my classroom. In my ninth year, I moved into an alternate dimension. I became an elementary assistant principal. I spent 9 years as a campus administrator before moving on to central office.
I am a newbie first year superintendent. As a district, we are also in our first year of our 1:1 iPad implementation. This year, our 6th and 9th grade students received iPad minis. Next year we will expand to 6th, 7th, 9th and 10th and finally have 6th-12th by our third year. Our elementary schools also have multiple iPad carts for checkout. We knew this was going to be a challenge, but I firmly believe in a glass half full approach in everything I do. I try my best to surround myself with great people and to allow them to do what they are best at. These great people consistently amaze me with what they are accomplishing on a daily basis. Carl Hooker reminded me when we started this that I needed to be patient. This is a marathon and not a race, but it is extremely hard not to sprint when I see the excitement on students’ faces as they use the new technology in their lessons. While we still have a long way to go, I see growth every day. You must take small steps before you can run. The key is to find star teachers who embrace the changes (i.e. integrating the technology into their lessons). Once I have found these teachers, my job is to make sure that they are able to do what they are great at. (And they do!)
What I have seen this year is that other teachers who are not as comfortable with technology are becoming more willing to take new risks. We are consistently making progress. I firmly believe that success breeds success. Staying positive is a huge key! Celebrate the little successes and before long there will be bigger successes!