Robertson gets warm welcome from Overdale

By STEPHEN THOMAS
The Pioneer News

August 27, 2008

HILLVIEW — Construction is underway on Overdale Elementary's new school building foundation.

Photo by STEPHEN THOMAS
Pam Robertson met with the Overdale students Monday.

The Overdale site-based decision making council have selected the basis for the school's internal foundation by selecting a new principal.

Pam Robertson, an assistant principal with Spencer County Elementary, took over as Overdale's new principal Monday morning.

Students, staff and parents attended a special assembly Monday afternoon to greet Robertson. The new principal received gifts and well-wishes along with various greetings in many languages from each individual class.

Robertson said she was excited to take charge at a school with both a family and community atmosphere.

"It had a real family feel when I came in for the interviews," she said. "There's a real community spirit. I enjoy working in a smaller community."

Robertson's educational background includes teacher, counselor and administrator experience with various school sizes and educational levels. She worked at several elementary and middle schools in Jefferson County prior to taking her position as assistant principal at Fairdale High School.

Following Fairdale, Robertson made the move to Spencer County Elementary, where she has worked the past two school semesters.

"My passion is where I first began, in elementary education," she said.

Robertson felt Spencer County and Overdale shared common values among its staff and families.

"I thoroughly enjoy Spencer County, they are great people," she said. "I have a sense that Overdale has similar-type people."

Robertson's personal education took place first at the University of Kentucky, followed by graduate school at the University of Louisville. She received a Masters Degree in marriage and family therapy from the Louisville Seminary.

Overdale teacher Bettie Hart is a member of the school's Site-Based committee. She said Robertson's therapy background was among the many reasons for her selection as new principal.

"Her counseling and communication background and skills are great," said Hart. "She's very approachable and very student-oriented. She's focused on moving our students forward."

Among Robertson's first tasks, she hoped to continue developing a strong community culture at Overdale, including a relational trust with local businesses and organizations.

"It's very important to get the community involved," said Hart. "It's everyone's job to educate our children."

Robertson admitted school academics always played an important role. She felt community involvement, along with an emphasis on parental involvement in the children's education, were vital.

Overdale Site-Based member Carla Williams has two children attending the school. She was pleased with Robertson's ideals on increasing parental involvement.

"(Robertson) is interested in drawing parents into the school and involving them into the students' education," said Williams. "We need to put our children first and we're very excited to have her on board."

"An educator's duty is to develop the whole child and make them as great as they can be," Robertson said.

Hoping to implement further team unity, Robertson said professional learning communities would be implemented, creating joint accountability by all Overdale teachers.

"No isolation," she said.

Robertson and her husband, Phil, have three children, including two married daughters and a son living in Houston, Texas.

"As a parent herself she knows what it's like to get parents involved," said Williams. "She knows how to plan fundraisers."

Robertson eagerly awaits the new Overdale facility being built alongside the current building. She's excited to help with the opening of a brand new school.

Just as it has been with the positive anticipation of a new facility, Robertson hoped faculty, students and families would remain positive about new administration changes.

"It's exciting here," she said. "People will have to practice patience but keep the overall goal ahead."

This story, written by Stephen Thomas, was provided to One Knox courtesy of The Pioneer News. Read more stories from The Pioneer News at www.pioneernews.net.