Principal Norman Sauce – Chamblee Charter High School

Dr. Norman Sauce III
Dr. Norman Sauce III

Dr. Norman Sauce, Principal at Chamblee Charter High School, has been named as the new Executive Director of Elementary Education with Griffin-Spalding County Schools. Here is one person’s thoughts about Dr. Sauce and the shoes the incoming Principal has to fill.

What are your thoughts?

From: Chamblee Charter High School Parent

I have been a parent of 3 students in DCSD for a combined 27 years in 4 schools.  We have, of course, had fantastic teachers and administration, but I will say that, overall Dr. Sauce has been the most effective, most professional, and most compassionate administrator I have encountered in all of this time, including those who oversee schools where my children never went but I had exposure to as school council president(s), PTA president terms, and participation on several county-led committees.

Why do I think this?  First of all (and this will seem like a strange one to put at the top), he is friendly.  He always smiles and greets parents, grandparents, students whenever he sees them.  He seems happy to be at work and ready to face whatever challenges are ahead.  This enthusiasm is contagious.  If someone with his level of responsibility can be happy and motivated, it definitely carries through the chain of his staff.

He is insanely professional.  His manner of speech and his written communication are always clear, concise, professional, and informative.  He never lets an issue just sit and fester – even if there is not an immediate solution, he communicates the actions that have taken place thus far and plans for the near term.

He does not play favorites.  He takes every issue at face value and deals with it in an unemotional, professional manner.  Teachers, parents, students are all dealt with in the same, fair manner.

He is visionary.  He has lifted CCHS from a school that just did what it has done in the past and rested on its laurels to a school that embraces new ideas and new ways of doing things.  For example, he helped institute a policy whereby subjects are assigned a particular day of week for large projects, papers, and tests so that students do not have multiple large projects or tests on one particular day.  I KNOW this took a massive effort involving a lot of teacher input, but the teachers trusted Dr. Sauce and helped him move the initiative along.  I talked to teachers who never thought it could be done, but they are so happy it was.

He is appropriate.  CCHS, like many high schools, has had quite a few security threats over the past couple of years.  Dr. Sauce takes them seriously, but he does not overreact and institute unreasonable policies without thinking through impacts or knee-jerk reactions.

His top priority is and has always been a high quality learning environment.  Good teachers, reasonable schedules, counselors helping students – all of those are his top priority because they lead to a fulfilling and challenging classroom environment.  CCHS has the widest range of student potential and expectations, and he works to ensure no group is left out and receives the instruction each group needs.  He does not look at the magnet kids, for example, and say, “Those kids will be fine with whatever they do.”  He is constantly looking for new ways to challenge them without compromising the quality of education for, say, ESOL students and families.  It is not a zero sum game for him.  He sees potential for improvement everywhere.

The buck stops with him.  If a problem goes unresolved for too long, Dr. Sauce steps in and moves it along.  As with any school, CCHS has staff who would rather coast; yet, when Dr. Sauce becomes involved, they know it means action.

He cares.  I have received emails, calls, and voice mails from Dr. Sauce before, during, and after school.  Even if he can’t resolve a problem the way you wanted, he is thorough and ensures you know he thought through the problem.

I am pleading with you to search nationwide for a principal who is capable of leading our school in this manner.  CCHS has so many unique challenges facing it in the coming years:

  • In an uneventful year, CCHS leadership has to manage its neighborhood students, magnet students, and charter students.  That alone is an extraordinary challenge.
  • Logistically, our next principal will have to manage the redistricting of the CCHS zone and immediately identify needs and challenges that go along with that.  The “simple” addition of just 200 students last year introduced many new challenges.  I cannot imagine the challenge of significant redistricting.  CCHS will be fundamentally changed more than any other high school in the region.
  • Physically, our next principal is going to have to deal with overcrowding due to the Region 1 shifts in the CKHS replacement effort.
  • Academically, our next principal will have to address shifts within the student population to address additional ESOL while still maintaining very high levels of challenge for the magnet population.

This is a major, major undertaking, and I cannot emphasize enough how we need a leader who can handle this vast array of challenges that will face CCHS in the coming years.  We cannot have someone who has one foot out the door to retirement or someone who wants to keep the status quo because big changes are coming, like it or not.

7 responses to “Principal Norman Sauce – Chamblee Charter High School

  1. sent via Facebook
    This is a HUGE loss for CCHS. I really hope DeKalb can “Fill his shoes!” This hire will determine the future of the Chamblee Cluster.

  2. Right on target and well said. Dr. Sauce’s resignation is a tremendous loss to CCHS and the entire Chamblee cluster, but it’s a decision that makes perfect sense for him and his family.

    DCSD included the Lakeside HS principal in its national search effort last year so this has been done before.

    The downside to a national search is the time it takes. CCHS needs a strong principal on July 1.

    In addition to the challenges listed by the CCHS Parent, the new principal will have to immediately deal with a 3 year construction project. DCSD has scheduled design of the CCHS 600 seat addition plus expanded kitchen, cafeteria, media center, and parking to begin this July. This includes a new Construction Advisory Committee process which will require a significant amount of the principal’s time.

    Construction is scheduled for November 2018 through July 2020. CCHS must still operate during construction, as well as absorb projected enrollment increases beyond the 3 trailers already on-site.

    This is indeed a critical time for CCHS. Ironic that CCHS is celebrating its 100th birthday this weekend.

  3. sent via Facebook
    Dr Sauce is a unique positive, can do person that “may have” been able to persevere in all the craziness Dekalb County is pushing to Chamblee Charter High School. We will need a positive, capable person like him and hopefully also one that is not beholden to Dekalb County who can speak up and push to preserve the strength of this unique and diverse high performing school.

    What can we do beyond the minimum that Dekalb does to help recruit talent Stan?

  4. He also seemed to be loved and appreciated by the students. He had a wealth of practical experience.
    I wish him the best. I am sorry that we are losing someone like him. A principal has such a strong impact on the entire school and community.

  5. My only comment to this post is, yes, “unemotional.” I left after one year with him as our principal. I found a school with a principal who is truly, inside and out, passionate about his students, teachers, and what they do.

  6. chamblee getting screwed

    I’m shocked he resigning! I tell you I’m shocked. Why would anyone leave thisnutopia we were promised with Option B?

  7. I hope someone realizes that when the parents voice concerns about a principal leaving but the faculty and staff don’t, then something was and is wrong. Dr. Sauce’s main goal was to please the public at the expense of the faculty and staff. Teachers were not supported. Period. He would say anything to avoid a conflict but then make a decision that went against policy and best practice just to appease an angry parent or an entitled student. We need a principal that is genuinely concerned about the future of the school more than he or she is concerned about themselves or their image. We gladly wish you well.