Meet James Zoller

I am a dynamic and innovative educator pursuing a position as a middle or high school assistant principal for the 2014-2015 school year. I am eagerly seeking a school community to which I can contribute my energy and creativity.  

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Beliefs

I believe that leaders have the most profound positive impact when they maximize the contributions of their staff.  I value leadership structures and processes which leverage the collective creativity, energy, and industry of an organization. I have a wealth of experience successfully collaborating to achieve goals as both a group leader and as a contributing member of a team.

I believe that students thrive in an environment where they are challenged, empowered, and given every opportunity to be successful.  My classroom was built around formative assessments to track student progress and provide opportunities for enrichment.  In my school, I designed a Positive Behavior Supports program called Cowboy Camp to establish our school culture and to ingrain positive academic habits in our students.

I believe in the profound potential of digital technology to revolutionize the learning experience.  I’m a blended learning veteran.  I’ve taught 1:1 in an iPad pilot program.  I’ve authored a series of educational videos which have been viewed over 600,000 times on YouTube by students and teachers around the world. I believe that an interconnected school community provides the information families require, fosters professional growth for staff, and prepares students to live in a digital world.

Skills

  • Outstanding listener and communicator who clearly articulates goals and builds consensus to achieve them; known for establishing and maintaining positive relationships with students, parents, and colleagues based on mutual respect.
  • Innovative thinker, reflective, intelligent, and creative with excellent analytical and problem solving skills; hungry to acquire new knowledge and to embrace new challenges.
  • Respected instructional leader experienced with numerous classroom best practices including mastery learning, formative assessments, project-based learning, tier one classroom interventions, and differentiation. Possesses a proven track record of success.
  • Dedicated and hardworking, enthusiastic, detail-oriented, self-motivated and able to accomplish goals independently. Strives for continuous improvement.
  • Data-informed with the ability to identify and harness relevant information when setting goals, making decisions, and accomplishing tasks. Comfortable collecting, analyzing, and sharing data.
  • Technology veteran with a mature understanding of how tools can be most successfully employed to further instructional goals; experienced with supporting colleagues in expanding their use of technology.  Skills include web 2.0 tools such as wikis, discussion boards, blogs, glogs, animoto.  I’m also skilled with page layout, web design, graphic design, video editing, and spreadsheet manipulations as well as with tools including Blackboard, SoftChalk, Google Docs, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, SMARTnotebook, Powerpoint, Word, and Excel.

Accomplishments

  • Positive Behavior Supports – designed and implemented a school-wide PBS initiative to establish school culture and ingrain positive academic habits in students.  The program lasted two days and included activities focused on behavior expectations, academic skills, personal responsibility, school culture, technology, and bullying.  I created the vision for the project, coordinated the development of the resources, and designed the schedule.
  • Flipped Classroom – built a library of educational video podcasts viewed by over 600,000 students and teachers around the word.  I was interviewed by the Cincinnati Enquirer for my work with the flipped classroom and named a “Featured Teacher” by Knowmia.com.  My podcasts have been used by institutions including Pearson and the Supreme Court of Ohio.
  • iPad Pilot Program – led a pilot program for a classroom set of iPads.  I co-wrote the grant proposal, designed the hardware management protocol, tested promising instructional strategies, and continue to oversee the maintenance and use of the resources.
  • Blended Learning – developed an exemplary blended course which is being used as a model in other districts.  The course is built around a series of formative assessments which provide rich feedback to students in order to help them monitor their learning. I’ve made presentations about course design at conferences and appeared in a training video for other teachers.  I’ve participated as a member of the Quality Content Cohort, a group of blended learning veteran educators sharing best practices.
  • Department Chair of the Social Studies Department – lead the middle school social studies department in initiatives such as creating pacing guides, writing rigorous assessment questions, and implementing formative assessments. Oversee the budget for the department.
  • Blackboard District Administrator – optimized the organization of digital content for the district on our Blackboard pages.  Worked with two colleagues to identify the audiences, assessed the needs of each group, organized the content, and implemented the changes.  Currently serving as an administrator of our Blackboard system, providing professional development and technical support to staff throughout the district.
  • Response to Intervention System – collaborated with two colleagues to research RTI models and design a proposal for how RTI could be effectively implemented in our school.
  • District Webpage – serving on a committee to re-envision the district website.  Working to maintain the current utility of the site while increasing its appeal and ability to “sell” the district to an outside audience.  The updated site is expected to go live in Spring 2014.
  • Homework Survey – led the study on the amount of homework students in seventh and eighth grade were assigned at Wyoming Middle School.  Developed the questionnaire, compiled and analyzed the data, and presented the results to building leadership.
  • Maker’s Lab design – working with a committee to develop a vision for the fabrication lab to foster 21st century skills.
  • Leadership Academy – participated in the inaugural class of the Wyoming City Schools Leadership Academy created by Dr. Kist-Kline.  Our cohort participated in roundtable discussions, case study investigations, school site visits, and book studies with the purpose of developing leadership skills and fostering collaborative ties throughout the district.
  • OTES and SLO Pilots – active participant in district pilot evaluations of both the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and Student Learning Objectives.  I worked actively with my administrator through all parts of the OTES system and provided feedback to help with the implementation of OTES throughout the district next year.  My department collaborated with the language arts and science departments on the largest SLO pilot initiative in the building; we designed the pre-assessment to gather data, wrote a rubric to evaluate student work, identified appropriate learning targets, and designed and executed lesson plans to foster student growth.
  • Building Committees – Served on a variety of other committees throughout my career including as the chair of the building technology committee for three years; I have also served as a member of the Building Action Team, Student Achievement Team, and Superintendent Faculty Advisory Committee among others.

Education and Licensure

  • University of Virginia – Bachelor of Arts with a major in history (conferred 2003)
  • Xavier University – Master of Education with a major in secondary education (conferred 2005)
  • Ohio Teaching License – Adolescent to Young Adult (7-12) Secondary Social Studies (valid through 2017)
  • Ohio Principal’s License – My Ohio Principal’s License is pending with the Ohio Department of Education (expected completion date: June 2014)

References

References are gladly provided on request.  For references or any other additional information, please complete the contact form below.

Contact Me

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