The Leading Edge 2018-2019

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Our Mission

Questar III is an educational cooperative providing leadership and creating student success through shared instructional and support services to schools and their communities.

Our Vision

Questar III puts students first by providing 21st century programs and shared services.

Questar III Board Goals, 2017-2020

  • Build the capacity of our employees through ongoing targeted professional learning and other resources to enable Questar III BOCES to lead our region with innovative, high quality, and cost-effective programs and services.
  • Develop new programs and services to assist school districts to creatively address fiscal and programmatic challenges, and evolve teaching and learning so all students are prepared for their future.

1) Why do we exist? (our moral imperative or what compels us to act)

Changing lives, realizing dreams and doing together what can’t be done alone.

2) What do we do?

  • We help school districts meet the evolving needs of students through cost-effective and relevant programming.
  • We facilitate collaboration and efficiency, and lead local and regional innovation through shared solutions.

3) How do we behave?

a. Core Values (things we put more effort into than 99% of those in the industry)

  • Commitment to Excellence
  • Commitment to Leadership and Service
  • Commitment to Innovation

b. Learning Values (what we hope to see in staff and student learning environments)

  • Collaboration (seeking the input and talent of others to spur innovation, leverage resources and build on our strengths)
  • Culture of continuous learning and self-improvement (lifelong learning, curiosity, taking the initiative and being proactive)
  • High expectations and engagement (rigor, quality, commitment to excellence and relevance)

c. Aspirational Values (what we have to some degree, but aspire to be great at)

  • Being a learning organization
  • Providing “anabolic” service and leadership
  • Improving two-way, internal and external communication
  • Increasing diversity within our programs, services, staff and culture

d. Permission to Play Values (what one must have to be part of Questar III)

  • Work ethic (energy, competency)
  • Integrity and respect for others
  • Willingness to collaborate with others both internally and externally
  • Lifelong learning

e. Accidental Outcomes (things that have occurred accidentally over time at Questar III)

  • Employee loyalty to a fault (accepting the status quo)
  • Fear of failure (fear to make mistakes or take risks)
  • Disconnectedness and the development of silos (due to many separate and distant locations)
  • Competition (with other departments and outside providers)
  • Over commitment (being everything to everyone)
  • Employee stress and burnout
  • Staff turnover

4) How do we succeed?

Anchor Strategies (Strategies that we’ve developed over the history of the organization that have led to success.)

  1. Clearly identify the need or problem to solve. Determine customized solution(s) and resources through collaboration with thought partners.
  • Does the need or problem align with the Thematic Goals?
  • Does the organization have the capacity to move the project forward?
  • Who are our collaborators?
  1. Identify a committed lead for every project and service.
  • Who has the necessary expertise needed for this project?
  • What is our plan for implementation?
  • What are the milestones for reporting our progress and the metrics for measuring success?
  1. Build, foster and maintain strong internal and external relationships.
  • What is our plan for communications and engagement?
  • Who needs to be informed, consulted and involved?
  • What do they need to know and when do they need to know it?
  1. Reflect and assess continuously.
  • How is the project or service going?
  • What are we learning from the success (or challenges) of the project or service?
  • Do we need to make any changes? If so, why, what, when and how?

5) What is the most important thing to do right now?

Thematic Goals:

The Thematic Goals unite Questar III around a common set of priorities. Departments will develop program goals based on these three shared goals for the school year.

  • Develop the capacity of employees to serve students and school districts
  • Develop, improve and re-evaluate existing programs and services
  • Create a healthy organizational culture

Develop the Capacity of Employees

  • Develop the capacity of all staff, including providing opportunities to grow within the organization.
  • Plan and/or offer professional development days/opportunities.
  • Offer the Energy Leadership Index (ELI) survey and training program.
  • Attend and actively participate in the summer learning days (Administrative Leadership Team).
  • Continually improve teaching methods to promote engaging, student-centered, rigorous and relevant instruction.
  • Use technology to increase the effectiveness of instruction
  • Use differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all learners
  • Use best practices to foster healthy adult and student interpersonal skills in the classroom
  • Review and update departmental career ladders.
  • Incorporate The Leading Edge into all Questar III events and celebrations, as appropriate.
  • Create and/or implement new teaching and learning strategies
  • On-board staff throughout the year as part of a continuous professional development program at the department and organizational levels.
  • Use the Mentor Committee to prepare and retain new teachers and related staff.
  • Over-communicate through multiple media including the website, email, social media and physical material.

Develop, Improve and Re-evaluate Existing Programs and Services

  • Monitor the regulatory environment and SED/USDOE changes.
  • Identify school district and student needs and challenges.
  • Collaborate with local school boards to identify needs and concerns.
  • Conduct research and development to generate ideas for new programs and services.
  • Collaborate with superintendent subcommittees to review new programs and services.
  • Collaborate with school districts, post-secondary institutions, business and industries to identify needs and concerns
  • Use the leadership team meetings to collaborate and share ideas.
  • Monitor and refine scorecards. This includes: meeting with directors to monitor the development and execution of the scorecards (to ensure alignment with the thematic goals); and reviewing periodically to develop corrective action plans (if needed), and to diagnose organizational health (culture).
  • Use program reviews and data to inform areas of improvement.
  • Analyze positions as they vacate (to ascertain if positions need to be filled).
  • Provide succession planning, recruiting and training.
  • Convene a planning committee to organize and implement a regional gala to help the Questar III Educational Foundation raise money for student enrichment activities.

Create a health organizational culture

  • Create a welcoming and caring community.
  • Provide mental health and wellness training to staff.
  • Embed mental health education into programs for students.
  • Build staff capacity around the latest building safety protocols.
  • Promote wellness activities and initiatives in collaboration with the organization’s Wellness Committee and BlueShield of Northeastern New York.
  • Conduct a survey on organizational health and use the results to improve our culture.
  • Finaliez and implement an action plan to expand and promote diversity and inclusivity within the BOCES.

Executive Team: Gladys Cruz, Harry Hadjioannou, Mike Buono, Susan DiDonato and Denise Geyer

Administrative Leadership Team: Andrew Pemrick, Anthony DeFazio, Chad Goodfellow, Chris Martel, Craig Hansen, Dan Sherman, Danielle Bouton-Wales, Danielle Remillard, Denise Geyer, Gladys Cruz, Harry Hadjioannou, Jake Stomieroski, Jay O’Connor, Jeff Baker, Jennifer Mulligan, Jim Niedermeier, Karen Brockley, Ken Ziobrowski, Kerrie Burch, Kim Sparkman, Kimberly Rockenstyre, Meghan Platt, Mike Buono, Shauna Maynard, Susan DiDonato, Suzanne Paulson and Trini Hernandez


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