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Page Schools: Meet Trina Hubbell

Page Schools: Meet Trina Hubbell
September 14
09:15 2020

Meet Trina Hubbell

The new principal of Manson Mesa and Sage and Sand Virtual Academy


By Steven Law



Tina Hubbell

Trina Hubbell is the new principal at Manson Mesa High School, taking over for Mary Stahl who became the new principal at Desert View Intermediate.

    Hubbell will also serve as the principal for the Sage and Sand Virtual Academy.

    Hubbell grew up in Kayenta, Ariz., where her parents were educators. Her mother grew up in the LeChee/Coppermine area, and her father is from Black Mesa. She has spent most of her career as a teacher and administrator at schools on the Navajo Reservation.

    Hubbell began her teaching career at Ganado as a high school social studies teacher, a position she held for the first five years of her career. She then taught social studies at Tuba City High School for 13 years. She then moved into administration becoming the principal at Chinle Junior High School. Most recently, Hubbell served as the principal at Pinon Elementary School for two years.

    Hubbell moved from teaching to administration because she felt her school lacked strong leadership, and the decisions being made on behalf of the students and teachers were being made behind closed doors with little or no input from the teachers.

    “We moved into Beyond Textbooks at Tuba City, but there was no assistance, no direction from our administrators,” she said. “A teacher always wants to get the most out of teaching, and learning from our students, but without support from above it was a struggle.”

    She saw directly how such a lack of leadership and support led to less teacher innovation and collaboration. New ideas presented by the teaching staff never gained traction. Teacher morale slipped, and ultimately the achievement, education, success and grades of the students stagnated and declined. During her 18 years as a teacher, she had repeatedly witnessed how a dedicated, encouraging teacher could have a big, positive impact on the students in her class. She calculated that a dedicated, supportive, innovative administrator could have a similar positive impact on a school’s teachers, and ultimately, student education and achievement would rise accordingly.

    “That was the reason I stepped into administration: to be able to provide affective instruction for teachers, for the benefit of the students,” she said.

    One of Hubbells’ greatest strengths—and one she hopes to incorporate at Manson Mesa, and Sage and Sand—is successfully implementing new systems.

    As the principal at Pinyon Elementary School, Hubbell became very involved implementing Beyond Textbooks into her school’s curriculum, embedding the data analysis into the PLCs, and embedding PLCs into what teachers were doing on a daily basis using Reteach and Enrich models into our daily schedule.

    “Prior to that, they were having conversations at a school level that were irrelevant to what we were trying to accomplish,” she said. “This moved the entire school in the same direction. This gave us focus. Once we were able to get focus, we immediately dived into lesson planning and processes provided by Beyond Textbooks, then analyzing our processes and providing our assessments.”

    Implementing the new teaching methodologies was met by a lot of resistance, Hubbell said. “They weren’t accustomed to being held accountable to a process.”

    But once the system was in place, the school saw great success. “We were able to move test scores in one year,” she said. “The school went from a D letter grade to a C letter grade in one year. As long as the systems are in place, and tightening up some of the infrastructure, you can start moving test scores in a year.”

    Because of Hubbell’s expertise in introducing and successfully implementing new systems, she was the natural choice when the district began looking at opening its own virtual academy.

    At the time last spring when Hubbell accepted her position with Manson Mesa, the school district also asked her if she’d be willing to be the principal of a virtual academy, if Covid-19 made such a school necessary. Hubbell accepted the new challenge, feeling such a challenge readily aligned with her skill sets.

    “I knew I was able to build systems, however it really is difficult when you don’t have models available,” she said.

    Hubbell and Supt. Larry Wallen looked at education models from online schools to see what made them successful.

    “The models we looked at had been operating for years,” said Hubbell. “The big question for us was, `How do we start?’ It’s been interesting and exciting, working through it.”



Page Schools: Meet Trina Hubbell - overview

Summary: The new principal of Manson Mesa and Sage and Sand Virtual Academy in Page, Arizona


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