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Thank you for joining me here at the Lakewood Observer! It’s been five months since I began my position as the Superintendent of Lakewood City Schools, enough time for me to reflect on my transition into the Lakewood City Schools and the Lakewood community.
When I first started as your Superintendent, I was touched by the very warm welcome offered to not only me, but my wife and daughters as well. It has been a great pleasure to meet civic and community leaders. My engagement with those who have come to my Listen & Learn sessions had me walking away impressed with the community’s commitment to our children.
Besides the authentic community engagement I have discovered, I also have been taken by just how talented our teaching staff is. I’ve observed it many times since my arrival in August. I’ve seen the rich learning experiences they have created for our students. The challenge of the classroom teacher in Lakewood is tough, considering the diverse needs of our students. How well our students are prepared for success is a testament to those teachers.
On the flip side, our students have also greatly impressed me. Their talents are great and many. They are very civic-minded and they embrace each other – even when their classmate doesn’t look like them, speak like them, or think like them.
As we move forward together as a school district and a community, I want to harness that synergy between us to make our district even better for our students. To do so, I ask you to come with me on a Journey of Discovery.
On this journey, I will be looking to determine what our collective vision is for our students. By asking all stakeholders in the schools – and that’s everyone living in Lakewood – what our educational priorities are for our students.
This Journey of Discovery involves a continued community conversation to form our collective vision. Our plan is to have those conversations through my Listen & Learn sessions (next one is January 24, noon, at Panera), surveys, and other facilitated activities and discussions. When the journey is complete, I hope that we have come to a consensus on what the profile of a Lakewood Schools graduate should be and how we should structure our classrooms to achieve that.
Stay tuned to next month’s column to find out what we’ve learned so far on our Journey of Discovery.