When Sue Goldman became principal at Gale Ranch Middle School in San Ramon four years ago, she felt like she had found her dream job.
"I landed in heaven," Goldman said. "Best school, best staff, best parents."
Still, just because Goldman loves middle school doesn't mean everyone here does. "Let's face it, middle school is hard," Goldman said. "It can be an awful three years for kids."
And so, it was in her quest to make middle school a little less "awful" that last March Goldman decided to try something a little more creative. She connected her phone to a portable speaker, walked to the front of the school as students were being dropped off their parents began dancing.
"They thought it was crazy. They thought I was crazy," Goldman said. "Then they started dancing with me."
They have been dancing every school day since.
It was a quirky idea, Goldman confesses, just a way to shake up the everyday routine. It has become much more, though. Ever since she started dancing, Goldman says she has noticed something happening that lasts even after the music stops and the school bell rings.
"When kids get here in the morning and bad stuff has happened at home, in the media. And guess what? It's all OK, because we love you and we're waiting for you, and we're dancing. It's a party," Goldman said.
Goldman believes that positive start to the day carries over into the students behavior and academic performance. She is so convinced it is the best thing she has ever done as a principal, she has no plans to ever stop dancing.