Along with entering the doors to their new school building this year, Wiesbaden Middle School students also will welcome a new principal.
Dr. Jackie Ferguson, who arrived in Wiesbaden in July after spending eight years with the Department of Defense Education Activity in Japan, said she and her Family are happy to be back in Germany and she is excited to open the new school.
The new middle school was designed as a 21st Century building like the year-old Wiesbaden High School. The 21st Century design includes neighborhoods with movable walls and more open spaces, as well as small-group space.
“It’s allowing teachers and students to be innovative about their learning, have more choices about their learning and not have the confinements of the traditional school building,” Ferguson said. “They can actually use the environment to meet the learning need they have at that moment.”
Ferguson, who attended DoDEA schools in Germany until her sophomore year of high school, said her heart is really with the military-connected student.
“It’s a lifestyle unlike any other,” Ferguson said. “It does a great deal to prepare them as global citizens. To give them a wider perspective, the empathy, the compassion, their worldview is much broader and that’s what our society needs right now are global leaders.”
Her research agenda focuses on collaboration and co-teaching and Ferguson said she’s recently been reading a study on teams that showed it doesn’t matter who is on a team as long as they communicate respectfully and listen actively to each other. She said she looks forward to empowering teachers and students with these skills to see what they can accomplish together.
“This has been a very welcoming community, so we’re excited to be a part of it,” Ferguson said. “We’re honored that they’re trusting us with their children, and we aim to provide excellence in education for every student, every day, everywhere.”
The new middle school will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Sept. 14.