Letter from Dr. Norton

  • Dear Fruzen Families,
    I am so excited to be a part of Fruzen Intermediate School! I bring to the School District of Beloit and Fran Fruzen Intermediate School seven years of successful teaching at both rural and urban high schools and sixteen years of administration in public schools in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. As well as a wide range of experience, I also bring a strong educational background with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.d. from Western Michigan University.

    I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of school settings in a variety of locations. These experiences have exposed me to diversity in its many forms--socioeconomic, racial, cultural, religious, and geographic. From suburban Wisconsin and urban Washington, D.C., to the rural U.P., I have worked in both large and small schools from 4K to 12th grade. At Paint Branch HS located in the urban D.C. area, there were 17 languages spoken in our hallways, and students who lived in mansions sat in classes beside students who had no homes. In Michigan’s upper peninsula, on the other hand, I once had to hold our 750 middle school students after school for 15 extra minutes because the local police and DNR received a report of a possible mountain lion sighting! It turned out to be a false report, but I’m still glad to be back in a school system and community rich in diversity and a little tamer in wildlife!

    My range of professional experiences has taught me much. I am an advocate of differentiating curriculum, assessment, and instruction to ensure all students meet the standards. I believe that students' needs must be identified and met before learning can occur. I believe that discipline should teach and works best if a relationship exists between adult and student. I have found that parents/guardians want what is best for their children and that by working with, rather than against them, we can better affect student learning. I know that teachers who engage and motivate students, are knowledgeable in their subject areas, have a repertoire of teaching skills, and enjoy their jobs create an environment for learning. I have learned that both good teaching and student learning are easily identifiable at all levels. In all conversations, from student discipline to staff issues, I believe in the power of listening first and then delivering messages in a way that always allows for others' dignity and self-respect.

    I am looking forward to continuing my work with the staff and families of this school to create a welcoming, safe environment in which every student grows academically and social-emotionally to reach her/his full potential. The Fruzen administrative team is in its second year together and includes me and assistant principals Mrs. Schieve and Mr. Ritzert. Although the administrative team is relatively new to Fruzen, we all come with experience and a sense of excitement about the year and our students, staff, and families. We are committed to working with the staff, students, and families of Fran Fruzen Intermediate School to ensure the success of every child, every day.

    I am honored that you send your children to us each day, whether in person or online, and am looking forward to a great year at Fruzen Intermediate School.

    Yours in education,
    Dr. Sara Norton, Principal