Dear Medford School District Community,
I am humbled, honored and excited to have been selected as the new Superintendent of the Medford School District. After interacting with Medford’s students, parents, community members, school and district staff, and board members over the past few months, and officially since July 1, I am extremely impressed with what I have seen, heard, and learned about the community and its schools.
It hasn’t taken long for me to understand that Medford is a great community in which to live and a great school district in which to work. While we have challenges and vital work to do, this district is built on a very solid foundation. Medford School District can take pride in its rich traditions; in its current initiatives, processes and systems; and especially in its dedicated and skilled employees.
Anytime there is a change in leadership in a district, it is natural for people to wonder who the new person is and what changes may lie ahead. As you perhaps already know, I come to Medford from the Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, where I served 27 years as a math teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and district liaison—all at the high school level. For the past two years, I have served as a K-12 assistant superintendent. I pledge to apply the knowledge and skills acquired throughout my career to help Medford School District build on its strengths, fortify any areas where we are weak, and move with confidence to do the best possible job of preparing our students for a productive and rewarding future.
To start down that path, during my first two months on the job I plan to:
- Meet with as many staff and community members as possible and cultivate positive and productive relationships with our bargaining units, local non-profit agencies, and local and state governmental agencies;
- Review and analyze all data regarding student, school, and district performance, as well as data related to demographics and the community;
- Analyze all systems, processes, practices, resources and outcomes within our district; and
- Garner as much understanding as possible regarding the history of the area, the city, the district and the norms and culture of Medford.
Based on what I have learned thus far, our challenges in the coming year will be to fully implement the Common Core State Standards, move our Professional Learning Community (PLC) work to the next level, and ensure that we identify and apply every available resource (including fiscal, human, physical, time, and community) to improve student achievement. One of my oft-repeated professional mantras is that we must create schools where every student can find his/her place and identity. We must guarantee that there are pathways, programs, courses and co-curricular activities that allow all students to connect with the school process, their peers and teachers; to find meaning in what they learn; and to leave with an understanding of who they are and of their own knowledge, skills and abilities.
As the 2014-15 school year unfolds, together we will celebrate our successes, we will validate and continue what works well, and we will have the courage to openly acknowledge and forthrightly tackle any issue that is inhibiting the success of even ONE of our students.
Again, I am extremely excited to be your Superintendent, and I look forward to meeting and working with you.
All-Staff Kickoff Meeting 8-26-2014