Principal Profile: Danny Winsor
Get To Know Danny Winsor
1. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love getting to be with my students, staff and community. There is such an infectious energy about our students and the challenge to develop programming and opportunities for them to succeed is one that we relish here at Sagewood. I feel very blessed to get to work with such amazing professionals each day and to have a community of families that are so supportive. Our Sagewood community or parents, students, and teachers are second to none!
2. Who inspires you?
As a kid growing up, my grandfather was incredibly impactful. He was a brilliant man that was supportive, yet demanding. He made me believe I could make a difference in this world. Today, I am inspired by the most amazing person I've ever known, my wife and best friend!
3. What was your first job?
I worked in auto body and mechanic shop! I learned to love to work on cars.
4. If you had the opportunity to pursue another career, what would you choose?
The day I retire from my career in education, I am planning on living my second professional life as a medical doctor. I kind of love school! :)
5. What's an interest or hobby you have that not a lot of people might not know about you?
I am an avid runner; it is my sanity! I also love playing soccer, basketball, and golf, as well as, hanging out with my kids and wife.
6. What's your favorite item on the school lunch menu?
I've got to admit it, I usually forget to eat lunch!
7. Do you have any pets?
I have one dog named Finn! I've got four kids, so having more pets would be a little insane!
8. What was your first car?
A 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX. I was spoiled by parents!
9.What advice would you give to a college graduate who is entering the field of teaching?
The best piece of advice that I received coming out of college is to live your life with passion, embrace the love for learning, remove "try" from your vocabulary and replace it with "do", and honor each student by giving your best each day. As a teacher you have to remember to be a student and a learner first. The love for learning will make you a great teacher. Embrace each day and remember to have positive impact on each student you encounter. Empower students to think of the positive impact they can have on this world!
10. If you could be any superhero, who would you choose to be?
A Sagewood Middle School teacher! They inspire our students to achieve and do great things everyday!
PARKER - In the past two and a half school years, Sagewood Middle School (SGMS has quickly and quietly become the sleeping giant of middle schools— providing students with an impeccable work ethic and strong foundation of academic excellence. But Sagewood can also now add a long list of accolades the school is known for today. According to school administration and teachers, it was the vision at the school’s helm, courtesy of school principal, Danny Winsor that propelled them forward.
“I was talking with a friend who works at Ponderosa High school and she said, this year’s freshmen not only are kind people, but they want to be challenged. They were more prepared than they have ever seen them come in at the beginning of their freshman year,” says seventh-grade Dean, Liana Finn.
“He creates intention, so everything I do, working for him – I think about what’s the purpose, what’s the plan, what is the intention,” adds Sagewood math teacher David Strayer. “It’s changed everything in the way we create and look at our teaching plans." It’s that exact thinking that has impacted the school’s programs and classes taught to its sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students.
“We are a school that is very much about kids, high expectations, and not just developing what I would say is a professional middle school student. We want to ensure kids are prepared for middle school, high school and be college ready. That to me, college readiness is a topic we talk about every day in this building. Every Monday is College Monday and our teachers wear all their college gear to get kids to start thinking about the future and that middle school isn’t the end point. We have to think about how does middle school experience can impact you and your future,” says Principal Danny Winsor.
Winsor took over as the school’s principal two and a half years ago after leaving Legend High School. In those two years, Sagewood and its talented teachers has added dozens of new programs for students to ensure they are not only prepared for high school but also thinking about the future.
“We are very unique in the programming and in the partnerships we offer our kids. We want to provide intentional opportunities to give students a voice and it is something that makes us really unique,” says Winsor.
Those programs include being the first school to have an Innovation and Design Lab, utilizing the AVID College Readiness System to help prepare kids for college, being an Ambassador School for Lockheed Martin, having a Student Government class focused on service and leadership, split literacy programming, Principal Advisory Group, personalized learning options for both students and staff and the list goes on.
“I think coming into middle school, kids want to do great things, so for us, we ask ourselves as a school, how do we provide great opportunities and programming for them,” says Winsor.
Walking through the school, you can see and feel the energy throughout the building. Students joking and laughing with their principal and other teachers, creating relationships between the groups that provide an environment where students feel comfortable enough to speak up and take risks but also get to have fun while doing it.
“Students are growing, getting further and producing and being able to handle and do more. I think it’s because the whole cycle in the entire building. Regardless as to where they go, they are getting the same type of energy. Which is a good, positive energy,” says Straayer.
“Honestly, I love getting to see my 1000 kids every day. They are the thing I think about every day before I put my feet down on the ground,” Winsor adds. “The first thing I think about is, what 10-15 kids do I want to get to know that day and how do I connect with them on a personal level. So when it’s all said and done I know all my kids by first name – that’s a big part of who I am and why I do what I do.”
Winsor’s plans are to ensure the future of these sixth, seventh and eighth-graders are as meaningful and purposeful as the efforts created for them while they were students at Sagewood Middle School.