Deb Thompson, Coach
- Education: Pennsylvania Department of Education Principal Certification, 2007
- M.A. Wilmington University, 2006, Educational Leadership
- B.A. Thiel College, 1987, Business Administration
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I’m proud to say I am a second generation educator. All the way through high school I was a model student. It may have helped that my Dad taught at the schools and my Grandfather was the Minister of our town. I attended Thiel College and obtained degrees in Business Administration and Elementary Education.
I started my career in the corporate world. For the next 10 years I held various positions as a member of a team that took projects from start to finish with a company which was rapidly expanding and branching out across the East Coast.
Tired of traveling and a newlywed, I resigned; but they say everything is for a reason. After my daughter was born I wanted to return to work. While looking for a daycare we could trust I discovered an opportunity to use my other degree. I found a position as an Assistant Director at a local daycare and I realized teaching is much more rewarding to me than the corporate grind.
My career in education has taken me from the daycare level to teaching elementary grades to being the Principal at Avon Grove Charter School managing grades 6 thru 12. My dual working experience gives me unique insights into what is needed and what works – work, family structures and that our students are different. Our educational programs have to be well thought out in order for us to plan for the future.
I have been fortunate to be part of a public school system and a charter system. Strong proponents debate the advantages of each system, but it is my firm opinion that in today’s world we need them both.
At Avon Grove Charter School as the Upper School Principal, I set goals for the staff and worked to satisfy the budget and the board members. I tried to keep in mind how I felt as a teacher in the past. I opened the lines of communication with staff, students and also the parents. This was a primary component of my success story. My time at Avon Grove Charter allowed me to be innovative and creative with programs that helped benefit students academically and socially regardless of their challenges. Schedules were designed to provide students a designated period for remediation and/or enrichment. AGCS has been recognized for its High Profile on Academic Achievement and many of its students participated in local, regional, statewide and national competitions such as Academic Challenge, Envirothon, National History Day, Odyssey of the Mind, Science Fair, Shakespeare Festival and Spelling Bee to name a few. This was accomplished with proper training and development of the staff.
Avon Grove Charter School has become the largest, most consistent academically successful (as measured by the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment – PSSA), and innovative charter school in Chester County. Recognition to the AGCS has come through instruction designed to meet the students “where they are in learning” and nurturing this.
I have been a part of the Middle State Association of Schools and Colleges Reaccreditation and Response to Instructional Intervention Teams, Strategic Planning and Future Growth committees. With the innovation of instruction and programs as well as students’ success rate, the attrition rate has dropped into single digits since my arrival at Avon Grove Charter.
The success of the charter school and my accomplishments are the rewards for our efforts. Through leadership, and new ideas we raised the profile of the upper school during my time. AGCS Upper School students established a very impressive record of high-profile academic success.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts, experience, and ideas with other professionals through the DASL program to promote and celebrate the success of staff and students. Together we can move ahead and better the system.