Principal Jagdish Sharma....

sharmaI consider this job as my privilege and honor to serve this community and the future generations of Gila River Indian Community. I started my career in this community as a 4th grade teacher on the west-end in 1995-96 school year. Overall I taught fourth grade for over 10 years in this great Community and White Mountain Apache community (combined) and it has been my most favorite grade ever since. Although, I wore many hats during my journey along the way, such as an IT Director, a grant-writer, a coordinator for Federal grants, Director of Curriculum and Instructions and so on so forth. I joined Blackwater Community School in July-August of 2013 and consider myself very fortunate to work under and with well renowned mentors like Jacquelyn Power and Dr. Greg Lewis. Immediately after assuming the full time role as an administrator, I had a long meeting with the School Board of Trsutees and with everybody's consensus we reached down to two main goals that I need to start working on immediately. Those two main goals are as following:

  • Overall Improvement in Academic Achievement scores for all students with a laser-focus on 3-5 Charter Grades
  • Having a Brand New school Built at Blackwater has been the long time dream of the community...it is about time to realize it...

I accepted this challenge gladly and started working on the plans to improve and make these two goals achieveable. I am truely blessed to have such a dedicated Leadership Team and a committed staff to assist me along the way to bring the systemic change in this organization. We made very few changes in the first year after studying longitudenal academic data and we knew there are more changes that need to take place before we take a breather. We needed additional resources to put our new plans in motion, as the luck would have it, school was awarded School improvement Grant (SIG) thru the ADE. We put additional resources (BIE and ADE) all together to make it work for all K-5 grades. I will remain ever in-debt to Dr. Greg Lewis who was assigned to our School as a SIG Implementation Specialist. Dr. Greg Lewis worked very closely with the Leadership Team as well as with the instructional staff on all aspects of delivering a quality and effective instructions and a much better aligned assessment system for all students. Things started getting better and better every year since then. As we all know,the change process in any organzation has never been an easy task, however, what I really appreciated the most,was a constant encourgaement and support from the Board and the parents.

Today, I am very proud of our hard working staff who really believed in my ability to lead the change process and start getting much better results. It will take few more years to realize the vision and the mission of the organization. What really is my driving force behind my enthusiasm is the realization among students of their real potential and their total committment to achieve it. Students have been working very hard to meet the new and elevated expectations of each teacher. We know we have miles to go yet....but I believe we are on the right track. Blackwater School has made significant improvements in academic achievements as well as on the front of getting a new school built. During the month of August 2018, BIE has approved the necessary funding to build a brand new K-5 school.

Mission & Philosophy...

  • Creating child-centered, activity based learning environments;
  • Incorporating individual learning styles in the delivery of instruction;
  • Implementing developmentally appropriate curriculum for all children;
  • Encouraging adults to actively support their children's education;
  • Demonstrating respect for others and self;
  • Valuing culture and language as a cornerstone for learning.

In order to support these values four goals have been identified:

  • All children read independently by third grade
  • All students will test proficient/advanced in reading and math as measured by state standards.
  • Students demonstrate knowledge of their language/culture
  • Individual student attendance rate of 90% or better