By Will McClure
Towards the end of the last school year, it was announced that Stamford ISD had hired on a new Oliver principal for the 2016-17 year, with former principal, Greg London, moving to become the new high school principal. Midlothian administrator Kyle Chambers answered the call and was introduced to the Stamford community as he prepared to make the move. Officially starting in early July, Chambers has seen a smooth transition to the school district as well as the town of Stamford itself as he prepared for a fresh start at Oliver. With his first two months, including the first week of school, officially in the books, Mr. Chambers took some time to talk about his new start and how he and his family have become a part of the Stamford community.
Chambers started by stating that it has been a really smooth transition to Stamford, with his having the support of the teachers, community and administration throughout the process. He mentioned that the work ethic of the teachers has been amazing as he has been able to meet with them before the start of the school year and really get to know them better. Before the start of the year, Chambers was able to meet with each grade level and gain valuable knowledge of their teaching styles and see the dedication that they have. During these sessions, Chambers said that they worked together on testing data and how to approach certain state-mandated requirements, with him bringing in small changes and ideas, but mostly asking the teachers what they needed from him.
“The work ethic of these teachers and these students has been amazing,” Chambers said. “It’s been such an easy transition for me. Basically, I’ve brought in a few small, new ideas and no big changes because what they are doing is working and they are doing a great job. So, basically I’m here to support and keep things rolling as they have been.”
When asked how the students have responded to him, Chambers humbly said that one, as an elementary school principal, can “always measure your success by the number of hugs you get,” stating that the students have welcomed him and have responded well to the change. Chambers even stopped by all of the classrooms during the first week to read to the classes, reading a different character book depending on the grade level, saying that the students responded well to the activity and allowed the students to get to know their new principal. Chambers said the students are willing to come talk to him and have already built a great student-principal relationship as the students have adjusted to the change. Chambers is also able to see and talk to the students each morning through the morning meeting, allowing them to get started on the right foot for the day with a positive attitude. He noted that throughout the first week as he walked through the building looking in on the classes that it was non-stop teaching and learning. Chambers said that he has not seen a moment where the teachers were not engaged with the students, saying that the students are always learning 100% of the time.
In addition to being welcomed by Stamford ISD, Chambers, as well as his family, has had a warm reception since arriving in Stamford. He said that the people have been very welcoming and helpful along the way through the moving process along with his wife, Leslie, being able to be hired on to Stamford Middle School and his son, Timothy, even coming to Stamford ahead of his parents to participate in summer basketball and get acquainted with the coaches as well. Chambers said that the reception that he and his family have received has been outstanding throughout the process.
"I can't even hardly put into words the reception that my family has received. It has been beyond amazing," Chambers said. "Every individual that I have run into has been just easy to talk to and kind of acted like they have known me their whole life. You can tell it's a very tight, supportive community that takes care of their people. You can tell it is a community that really finds value in the education system that's here and is thankful for when they have somebody come in that is of like mind."
As the school year continues on, Mr. Kyle Chambers will continue to be fully integrated into the Stamford ISD family as he builds the working relationships with the administration, teachers and students. Chambers said that he has been able to sit down and work with the other principals, thus being able to bounce ideas off of each other and see the strengths that they all bring, saying that they all complement each other well. Ultimately, one of Chambers' goals is to get to know the students and the families throughout the year and the years ahead. He concluded by saying that he hardly believes it has only been two months since he first arrived in Stamford, but says that he is grateful to have the opportunity to become a part of the Stamford ISD family.