Chad Watters was sent to the principal’s office once during his elementary school years. “Sadly, that was the only time I ever saw my principal. He wasn’t visible,” Watters said. “And my elementary school experience wasn’t very memorable.”
Watters, an ’03 educational leadership and M.A. graduate and in his sixth year as Warwick Elementary School’s principal, wants to create memorable moments for his students.
Whether it’s switch-a-roo day (when students dress as staff and staff dress as students), or live whole-school BINGO (complete with student-created commercials that run in between games), school with Watters is as much about creating community as it is creative thinkers.
When it came time to choose a graduate school, DelVal's convenient location was just one factor. DelVal’s graduate education program gave Watters the kind of practitioner-based faculty he needed.
“DelVal’s professors were active in their fields, as principals, HR professionals and superintendents. That was an important feature to me because they’ve lived it,” Watters said. “Their stories illustrate the lessons we learn. After all, metaphors and analogies help provide the much-needed context for new learning to take hold, right?”
One of the more memorable lessons included turning the tables of Central Bucks’ then-assistant superintendent of elementary education Dr. William Walter. “We had to analyze and prepare a post conference for a very poor videotaped lesson taught by Dr. Walter,” Watters said. “We were all sweating buckets. We knew he intentionally taught the lesson poorly, that was the whole point, but having to prepare to help him see how ineffective he was didn’t make it any easier on us!”
Watters gives praise to former superintendent Dr. N. Robert Laws. “He was my superintendent and an instructional inspiration and leader for all of our administrators.” (Laws developed DelVal’s doctor of education program.)
Over the course of the next few years, Watters would like to earn his doctoral degree. “I know I will always be in education, just not sure it will be in building administration. I will have more choices available in the future with a doctorate,” Watters said.
Wherever he lands, Watters gives credit to his current and former superintendents, professors and other educational leaders. “These transformational leaders helped shape and mold the professional I am today while steering me toward what I might be in the future.”
Among those things immediate future goals for Chad Watters: “Be an inspiration to other education professionals in the same way these mentors have been to me.”