Principal's Corner

Mr. Jeff Harshbarger
Principal/Educational Leader
865.494.7171
Education
Graduate of Anderson County High School
BS Biology and Science Ed. - Univ. of TN
Masters in Administration and Supervision - LMU
EDS in Curriculum and Instruction - LMU

Principal's Corner

Welcome to Norris Middle School.  I am proud to be a part of such an exceptional school.  Our staff, students, and parents are serious about learning, not just test scores.  Our students are expected to think and problem solve, develop their reading and writing skills, while focusing on the future and being college and career ready.  

Sometimes, parents of middle school students think that now is the time to let their children do school on their own.  While middle school students certainly want more independence, they need supervision and good role models to develop the skills they need to be successful.  Therefore, I encourage parents/guardians to take an active role their child's education in middle school.  Here are some great ways to do this:

 - Read with your child.  Model reading at home, set a time for the whole family to read.  Discuss books, magazines, newspaper articles (you remember those don't you?  You can access many on-line) with your child.  
- Check Skyward weekly at least not only for grades, but attendance too.  
- Come by after school and go through your child's locker with him/her.  Most days you can access the building until 5:00 or so by ringing the doorbell.
- Communicate with your child's teachers via email, phone, or other ways. Work toward building a positive relationship with your child's teachers.

The more you do now to help your child be successful, the less likely they will be to move into your basement as an adult!

Here are a few books I have read lately. If you have a book that you would like to share, please email me or drop by and chat.  I am always looking to add to my "to be read" stack.  

Book Title and Author

Review

John Adams by David McCullough

I got this book at McKay's for $1.50 and it was worth every penny.  In my middle years I have grown an affinity for biographies and historical fiction.  This book was a fascinating view into the true causes controversies and outcomes of the American Revolution from the eyes of the one of the most important and underappreciated Founding Father.  Adams was a strong advocate for education and wrote, "A memorable change must be made in the system of education and knowledge must become so general as to raise the lower ranks of society nearer to the higher."  Great book for anyone wanting a deeper understanding of our countries first three decades.   McCullough paints a complete picture of Adams with all his human flaws and strengths creating an intimate look into the great leader without portraying his as a demi-god.  This is also a HBO Mini-series based on the book.                                        
Night by Elie Wiesel

The a first person true story of survival  of Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps told by Elie Wiesel.  It is a terrifying and unbelievable account that everyone needs to read.  I highly recommend this book to mature middle school students and all adults.  We must understand the horrors of the past to make the future a more accepting place.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A terrific story of outdoor adventure and coming of age.  Adult situations make this book unsuitable for teens but a great true story that inspired a movie.  The best part is the author's name but I'm not telling, read the book!

 The Great Wide Sea by M. H. Herlong This book was a true page-turner with lots of suspense and surprises.  Perfect book for the pre-teen or teen with a sense of adventure.  Not a total feel-good story, lots of real world problems so of which don't get resolved.  NMS was fortunate (thanks to NMS Librarian Kat Hall) to host Mrs. Herlong this past spring where she shared some of her craft's ins and outs.   I highly recommend this book as well as her other book entitled Buddy.
 Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup  A must read for all Americans.  This true story written by the survivor portrays the dark nature of slavery in the United States. This is an unbelievable true story of cruelty, hate, the strength of human spirit, and ultimate triumph of good over evil.