Student-Centered and Future Focused

Student-Centered and Future Focused

   Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year…the 129th school year of this amazing institution—Great Falls Public Schools! Another year, where we work to ensure that our great democratic society is preserved through what I call the game-changer, the door-opener, the foundational enterprise that is so vital to our country, this important thing we call public education!
   There is no doubt that we made history last year with the passing of the bond levy in October. I can’t even tell you how amazing it was to win the election, but even more amazing has been the results of the election. As you look around our schools today, so much has already been accomplished. Thanks to so many of you who stood up, spoke up and showed up during the bond election, we are building the future!
   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.
   I believe that success is more likely in a system that is student-centered and future focused; in an approach that seriously evaluates the effectiveness of an industrial, one-size-fits all, assembly line system; in an approach that personalizes learning through relationships; and in an approach that pays attention to the skills students need to be successful in today’s and tomorrow’s world, not the world of the past.
   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.
   Speaking of challenges, a big thank you to the Buildings and Grounds crew as they worked all summer to make our schools clean and beautiful—inside and out! In many cases this was done with the inconveniences of construction in the building as well. Thanks for being creative in dealing with the logistics of it all. I also appreciate all the staff members who attended training this summer to hone their skills and knowledge. Also, please know that the rest of the support team has been busy this summer hiring staff, securing resources, and preparing for what is going to be another great year!
   I look forward to seeing all of you throughout the year as I visit buildings and classrooms. When I stop in, please do not feel like you have to stop what you are doing. I am just there to watch with admiration as you provide a world class education to the students of Great Falls.
   Ready or not, here they come! Here’s to the next 187 days of magic!
Take care. Be safe. Stay well.