Fort Dodge Community School District

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FDMS Starts New School Year with New Principal - from The Messenger

August 28, 2019

"It's going to be a great day," Fort Dodge Middle School Principal Aaron Davidson told students as he passed them in the halls Tuesday morning. "It's going to be awesome."

Tuesday was the first day of the new school year for the Fort Dodge Community School District, and it was Davidson's first school day as the new middle school principal.

Born and raised in Fort Dodge, the 1995 graduate of St. Edmond High School is no stranger to middle schools in the FDCSD. Davidson taught science at the former Phillips Middle School from 2000 to 2009.

In 2009, Davidson left Fort Dodge to be the new K-8 building principal at Pomeroy-Palmer Community School District. When PPCSD merged with Pocahontas Area School District in 2012, he was the Pocahontas Area Elementary School principal until this past summer, when he started as the FDMS principal.

As a first-year head principal at FDMS, Davidson isn't looking to make any major changes.

"The first year, any time you step into a new building, it's going to be a lot of observing, a lot of watching, a lot of questioning," he said. "It's tough to make any big changes, simply because you haven't been in the work before."

"We already have a really good staff and a really good support system in place," he added.

Davidson said his goal for the staff is to make every day feel like the first day of school for all the students, to keep that excitement level up throughout the school year.

"I think that the most important thing is we want this building to be a place where one, students love to come to every day, staff love to work in and something that our community can be proud of," he said. "I think in doing those three things, we're doing the right thing instructionally, the kids are getting the most out of their academics, the behavior support system is working and it's conducive to a safe learning environment. It just builds more pride and passion, not only for the community as a whole, but also our district."

The new principal wants Fort Dodge Middle School to be a place students and their families can feel good about.

"We're going to take a lot of pride in making sure people feel good about this building," Davidson said. "I want parents to feel good about them dropping their children off to us, to let us serve them for seven hours a day. I want students to feel good and safe when they come here and know they're going to get a top-notch learning environment where they can grow as much as they want to grow."

What does a successful school year look like to the new principal?

"We want our kids to be in a better place, stronger academically, social emotionally, just feeling better about themselves and growing into a little more maturity from the start of the year to the end of the year," he said.

Davidson also has some advice for the building's fifth-graders and other new students.

"Be a kid of character, do the right thing, follow the golden rule - do unto others as you want done unto you," he said. "If you can think that way and try to be the best version of yourself every day, this is going to be an awesome school year."

Tru Allen, a seventh-grader, is most excited about being around his friends again this school year.

"Because school's not really that fun without friends because it's mainly just sitting there doing your work and sometimes if you have your work done, friends are the best part, like if you're bored and you can just talk to them," he said.

Allen's favorite class is computer modules, he said.

"I want to learn how to code my own game," he said.

Allen said the biggest change he's noticed from going from sixth grade to seventh grade is "you have be be more mature."

As for what he's most nervous about this school year?

"Girls," he said with a smile.

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