- Hillside Middle School
#MyPCSDStory: Natalie James, Normandy Class of 2004
January 13, 2020
Natalie James (Long)
Normandy High School
Any post-secondary education? If so, please list your college, degrees earned and graduation dates:
Kent State University Graduated in 2008 (Bachelors of Science in Education: Majored in Middle Childhood Education, Math and Science 4-9, ELA and Social Studies 4-6 Generalist, 4-9 Reading Endorsement)
Malone University Graduated in 2012 (Masters of Science in Educational Leadership: Pk-12 Principalship License)
Current job title and location: Dean of Students: Dentzler and Parma Park Elementary Schools
How did your experiences at the Parma City School District help you to achieve success in your career? I am very passionate about Parma City Schools because I grew up loving my experiences in the classroom with my teachers. The teachers that I remember the most were the ones that were positive in the classroom and that you could really tell loved their job. I was college-ready through my academic experiences at PCSD, and this gave me a head start to a successful career. My teachers inspired me and they cared about my growth even though I wasn’t the best student or the highest-achieving student.
What is your favorite childhood memory growing up? One of my favorite childhood memories is from Renwood Elementary. In sixth grade, when I was on safety patrol, we always got to miss the first few minutes of the day when it was cold or snowy because we had hot chocolate made for us when we came in from our post. It really seemed like the best thing ever at that time!
Who was your favorite teacher and how did they inspire you? My favorite teacher growing up was Mrs. Marsha Marion at Hillside Middle School. Mrs. Marion is an inspiration because she was always so positive, optimistic, and loving, even with her most difficult students. She truly cared about every single student she had and wanted the best for them. You could really tell that she LOVED her job. She inspired and encouraged me to join choir in high school where so many of my high school memories were built.
Looking back at your school years, what is one thing that has stayed with you throughout the years? After being in concert choir all throughout high school, every year during the holidays I still find myself singing the words to Concert Choir’s Winter Candlelight Processional and Hallelujah Chorus. Mrs. Seredick always took so much pride in putting on a quality winter show to remember. If we weren’t on point with every note, we would not have performed. I still have the CD we made!
What does the PCSD mean to you? The PCSD is now my home and my family. I now have over 700 kids between my two buildings and I care about the academic, social, mental, and emotional health and future of every single one of them. Everyday I am inspired even more by the teachers that work with and love our kids daily no matter their ability level, home life, or behavior. They build relationships and work diligently to create meaningful lessons. They volunteer their time and heart for the good of our children. This is not just a place I go to work everyday, this is my future, this is my home.
Why are you Parma Proud? I am Parma Proud because I see amazing things happening every day in my buildings. Teachers, aides, and monitors teaching lessons both academic and in life, students learning and becoming good problems solvers and decision makers, and administration pouring their hearts into everything they do to make their students’ lives more enriched. Parma is the place that I grew up and I received an excellent education. I’m seeing, in many ways, our students today receiving everything they need to make themselves successful and contributing citizens just as I did.