STILLMAN VALLEY – Meridian CUSD 223 Superintendent PJ Caposey has written his third book which is now set for release late this summer.
This milestone caps off an incredible year for Caposey. In the past 12 months many awards and accolades have been bestowed upon Caposey and Meridian CUSD 223. The district has been recognized three times nationally earning praise from District Administration Magazine, US News and World Report, and the National Education Policy Center. Personally, Caposey earned the prestigious 40 under 40 recognition from the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and was recognized as the 2017 Eastern Illinois University Distinguished Educator Award.
What makes this a truly incredible year for Caposey is that all of this took place while he was fighting cancer for a second time throughout the course of the year. Caposey said that his battle with thyroid cancer, “should barely be called cancer” because of the differences in his treatment compared to what many others are or have faced.
“I had a bit of struggle this year, but it is no different from anybody else,” he said. “Everybody is fighting their own battle – I am just thankful for all of the support my family and I received.”
Caposey’s book tackles the complex issue of teacher evaluation. Caposey said that the impetus for writing this book came from his own personal struggles within the profession.
“If I had one thing I could change about how I led as a principal, I would change the way I evaluated teachers,” he said.
Caposey continued by noting that evaluation became divisive and stressful for all involved and too often did not focus on teacher growth. What prompted him to write the book, however, was observing how universal the struggles accompanying teacher evaluation were. Once Caposey saw how widespread the issue was in his profession, he felt compelled to do something to try and help.
“The intent is simply to help other people grow and move past some of the same mistakes I made when serving as a principal,” he said.
Meridian Board President John Smith saidd that the Board is extremely supportive of Caposey and his attempts to impact education beyond the borders of Meridian 223. Smith noted that they were aware and impressed with Caposey’s desire to continually push forward as a writer and speaker before hiring him.
“PJ is very driven,” Smith said. “I am not sure where he gets the energy to fit everything he does into one day, but he does. We are lucky to have him.”
You can check out the book, Making Evaluation Meaningful, on all major book retailers websites including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.