I began my job in Waseca on July 1, 2013. This is my first job as a Superintendent of Schools. Previously, I have been a teacher in three different districts over 14 years and an administrator in 2 different districts over 20 years. I have worked for outstanding, innovative school districts and have experienced exceptional teachers and programs. None of this past experience prepared me for what I have seen in Waseca as a community and our schools.
Waseca as a community is one of the highest quality places I have ever experienced. The folks here care about one another and they particularly care about their kids. I have seen evidence of this at Rotary, the Exchange Club and the Lions Club as individuals have taken me aside and offered support and encouragement. More evidence revealed itself on Band Preview Day, where the stadium was packed. When parents were invited onto the field to march with their student, 2/3 of the stadium remained packed. These were other family members and community members who were in attendance not just to show support but to check out the quality of this year’s band and compare it to the tradition of excellent bands. They were not disappointed. Additional evidence can be seen in the hallways and classrooms of our schools where dedicated, caring staff pour themselves into the lives of our students. Students, in turn, develop the knowledge and skills they need for success. I am particularly struck at the quality of many of our high school students. They are mature, well-rounded and demonstrate organizational and time management skills that I never had at their age.
Waseca Public Schools are not a perfect place for everyone but we continue to diligently work toward improving ourselves to ever higher levels of success with more and more students. Recently we completed a Strategic Planning Process that is intended to move us to even greater successes in the future. Our vision statement is:
In collaboration with our community, we will provide content-rich, rigorous, innovative, personalized learning to prepare all learners for college, career and life.
To some these may be just words, but to those of us inside the organization, it is our commitment to continual improvement assuring the quality of our students when they leave us.
If you are new to our community, welcome. You could not have chosen a community more dedicated to its kids. If you have lived in our community all your life, thank you for your commitment to the students and I ask you to pause, reflect on, and recognize the gift of what you have: a wonderful community and schools that are outstanding places for students! Thank you for the privilege of leading these schools!