New Job, New Perspectives

Dameon Brown, Professional Learning Service Specialist, AWSP
Feb 28, 2022

AWSP Mt. Rainier

Before I applied for my job, I had never heard of AWSP and knew nothing about it, even though I had driven and ran past the building hundreds of times. I had no idea what was happening behind these obscure walls. After interviewing and receiving a second interview, I still did not truly understand the scope of the job I was interested in, but now I do.

I started as the Professional Learning Service Specialist on January 10th. I greatly appreciated the warm, welcoming atmosphere and the camaraderie of the entire staff, which was completely foreign to me compared to my previous careers. The real gem here is the actual work. It is challenging and a complete uphill trek, but we are determined and focused. We support principals throughout their whole leadership journey, from aspiring to retiring. 

Dameon Brown

What I witnessed in the first month has been nothing short of amazing, eye-opening, and sobering. From my first Equity Centered Leadership Network event, I saw enthusiastic and motivated elementary principals and assistant principals well on their journey to eliminate inequities. Lofty goals, but I have complete faith this cohort of professionals can get it done. My second event was at PLU with interns willing to step into the principalship — a display of courage considering the current environment all our schools find themselves in now. It has always been challenging, but these last two years have nearly broken the system. 

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) event I attended was a group of seasoned, well-respected principals from all over the state. We came together to discuss ways to improve the position, school systems, and find methods to share that may stop our school leaders’ current catastrophic attrition rate. It was powerful, depressing, and bleak. The meeting felt like a much-needed group therapy session. Although there were some great takeaways and a few principals felt slight rejuvenation, we had three incredible administrators admit they were resigning at the end of the school year. Hearing their stories motivated me to do everything in my power, both personally and professionally, to help assist these wonderful but depleted principals. 

Reach was one of my takeaways from the event. How many principals are suffering in silence, unaware of our mission and what we can provide? Every principal and assistant principal should know about our in-person workshops and amazing virtual classes in our Learning Management System (Path). They should feel like they can reach out to our Professional Learning team or our executive director at any time. 

I am new, energetic, and I will not rest until EVERY school administrator in the state knows who we are, what we offer, and are willing to remain in their positions longer with the understanding that we support them 100% in whatever way they need. 

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