Despite a career move out of town, Maranda Anderson vows there isn't anything in the world that will keep her from always being a proud Bearcat.
Anderson--who has been serving as director of curriculum, assessments, and federal programs for the Gasconade County R-1 School District--pivots soon into a similar position with Washington's public school system. Her educational duties in Hermann wrap up in a week.
She recently sat down with the Advertiser-Courier to reminisce on her stint with local schools. Starting July 1, her formal title with Washington schools will be assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She intends to work remotely for Hermann schools after concluding in-office duties through Friday, and thereafter operate remotely until the switchover.
She has spent 23 years with Hermann schools, including positions teaching fourth grade and kindergarten. She also taught reading and math Title programs in the third- through eighth grades for the district, and then became involved in directing the system's curriculum efforts.
"I'm doing the same job," she said of her new position in Washington. "It's just bigger."
According to Anderson, it's the people, students, and relationships she's enjoyed the most of her life in Hermann schools and for which she will always be grateful.
"Everybody's so good to work for," she said. "I have been very blessed here. It's more than a job."
Now that her time with the district is drawing to a close, there is evident pride in numerous accomplishments.
"We have a fully guaranteed and viable curriculum program," said Anderson, adding that the establishment of professional learning committees has been another significant marker, as well as the implementation of school-wide Title I programs.
Opportunities for professional development for staff have become richer and even more relevant, she continued. The tools in an assessment program help monitor student growth, allowing for remedial activities.
"That's a good chunk of time you can use" to guide students in their educational growth, Anderson said.
More data has been created by the district to address learning needs as students age and progress, she added.
Hermann schools' successful tousles with the challenges of COVID-19 have also created a major sense of achievement.
"I am so proud of our staff, our community, and our administrative team," said Anderson. "We managed to keep things going pretty well."
She has confidence that the goals attained by the Hermann school community will last well into the future.
There just isn't any chance at all that Anderson will ever forget she is a Bearcat for life. There are plans to remain firmly in the fold of the Bearcat family, freely giving her support to the community and district. She intends to make herself available, if needed, to assist in any necessary consultations with Hermann schools.