New Year’s: Looking back, looking ahead

Looking back over 2014, it’s a little crazy to think about everything that’s changed for me and my family. It was almost a year ago that my wife and I came to Eudora on a cold, snowy January day for my interview. I had done my research, and I knew that Eudora was the place I wanted to be, both for my professional life, but also for my family life.

Fast-forward to July 1 — my first day in my office at West. For the next month, leading up to the start of school, I was on a fast track to listen and absorb as much as possible about this school system that was already operating so smoothly. I watched our staff plan for and pull off Cardinal Craze, and I was thoroughly impressed with their dedication to serving every single parent and family who walked through our doors over those two days.

The next few weeks brought with them new teacher induction, with my first chance to meet the teachers who’d been hired to join our team. What a group! And again, to watch how our administrative team and teacher leaders helped welcome and orient them to our district — I was impressed!

Convocation came, with my chance to welcome back all of our staff. I loved watching the food drive that the ENEA teachers’ association sponsors each year for the Eudora Food Pantry. I loved shaking hands with teachers, cooks, principals, bus drivers and others. I loved welcoming representatives of the Eudora Schools Foundation and the Eudora Chamber of Commerce.

Next, school started — and that’s what it’s all about. What happens in our schools is exactly why I came to Eudora. I’m humbled by the chance to help lead a system that encourages and empowers employees to serve students and families through caring, teaching and mentoring. And after one semester, I’m extremely proud of what I’veĀ  witnessed happening in our classrooms and schools. We are so fortunate in Eudora.

Heading into 2015, my first fill calendar year working and living in this community, I have three resolutions:

  1. Get out into our schools, as much as I possibly can. Whether it’s spending time in a kindergarten classroom, watching students immersed in a science project, or stopping by a band or choir practice now and then — this is what makes my day and reminds me of what matters.
  2. Collaborate with leaders who can help make good things happen in Eudora. There are outstanding partnerships already in place between our district and a number of government, non-profit and private agencies. And whether in resource sharing, grants or other support, these partnerships help Eudora Schools be stronger than we can be on our own.
  3. Fight for a bright future for Eudora Schools. Whether I’m supporting the work and innovation of our employees, working with our outstanding school board, or advocating in Topeka, the continued success of Eudora Schools is my priority.

As exciting as 2014 was, I can’t wait to see what great things await for Eudora Schools in 2015!

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