Quite the Year!

Quite the Year!

My first Newsbits article of this school year included this information:

While we continue to be excited about the facility work, we must be even MORE excited, even MORE strategic and even MORE dedicated to our most important work:  helping our students achieve success.  No matter how nice our buildings are, no matter what kind of technology we have, no matter how much our budget is or isn’t, if we don’t ensure and thrive on student success we cannot meet our student achievement goals…There are challenges before us to be sure, but our ability to overcome and do right by our kids, our community and our future is unsurpassed.  Together, we can rise to the challenge and by doing so, our students will as well.

Little did I know of the significant challenges that were to come!  Between the major personnel issues, the boundary adjustment process, significant student discipline decisions, the budget challenges, tax complaints, salary criticisms, Memorial Stadium delays, the GFHS facility design, and the plethora of other challenges that have come our way, we have stood tall and we have stood together.  As I look back, each challenge was an opportunity for leadership; an opportunity “to do right by our kids, our community and our future.”

While I must admit that some of the days were a little rough, please know how much I have appreciated the cards, emails, posters, hugs, snacks and other tokens of support that I have received from many of you over the last month.  They adorn my office, make me smile and remind me of what we are all about:  positive and supportive relationships.  As I noted in my February 5 article (https://gfps.k12.mt.us/blog/newsbits_issue/february-5-2018/), I signed up for this hard work, but I sure thank all of you for your support as we “stand in the arena.”

As this challenging, exciting and productive school year draws to a close, please take some time to celebrate your personal goals as well as the District goals that were accomplished.  You can find a list of accomplishments at this website:  http://gfps.k12.mt.us/sites/default/files/ACCOMPLISHMENTS.pdf.  The 2017-2018 document will be put up this summer.

As always, there is still so much to do, even over the summer months:

  • We will watch all the construction happening throughout the District.
  • We will be developing a budget to present to the Trustees in August that is about $1.6 million short of what was actually needed. Without a doubt, it will be a challenge to get the budget to balance.  I know sacrifices have been made by staff members and for that I’m sorry.
  • We will be engaging in professional development in these upcoming months that ensures instructional excellence. I know you will find the planned activities to be productive and worthwhile.
  • Our buildings will be cleaned and shined by our dedicated engineering staff. Scheduling and student enrollment will be completed.
  • …and the list goes on!

Thanks in advance to all of you working these summer days to prepare for the 2018-2019 school year.  For those of you who are retiring after serving the district for many years, I wish you the best.  To everyone else, I hope you get the chance to recharge your batteries a bit.

As for me, I will take some time to rest, but I also plan to roll up my sleeves to continue the good work we have before us.  I will not wish the days away, but I will be looking forward to seeing you at Convocation on Monday, August 27 at 8:00 am in the CMR Fieldhouse.  In the meantime…

Take care. Be safe.  Stay well.