I’ve got to admit, the holiday season inevitably makes me nostalgic and this year is no different. Rereading my superintendent’s article from December 2019, I came across this statement: “The future looks so bright that I can’t help but keep looking forward to the goals, milestones, and growth at our fingertips.” It’s clear that at this time last year, we had no idea what was looming around the corner.
Despite the recent setbacks, I would like to recognize the hard work of our staff, families, and students that allowed us to still chase our goals and reach the milestones and growth we had hoped for. November 4, 2020, we welcomed nearly 200 students to our 20th school, Riego Creek Elementary, for the very first time. I’ve been to several grand openings for new schools, and I am confident that I’ve never experienced the palpable thrill and relief from the students and families as I did on that day. The genuine care and commitment exhibited by the Riego Creek staff have affirmed my commitment to our District culture of placing children at the center of every decision that we make.
As we look at the growth we have experienced as a District, I’m not looking at numbers. I’m looking at the growth demonstrated by the maturity and kindness of our students. They have been through so much, but I am proud to see them becoming vital members of our school and local community. The growth of our staff members’ toolboxes as educators is second to none. We knew that our teachers were superheroes, but now they have sharpened the skills they never expected to need, blowing me away with their ability to broaden their skillset and act as a north star for their students, leading the way with grace and flexibility.
So while you cannot compare this year to last year (talk about apples to oranges!), I can’t help but feel like we were still able to chase our goals and reach the milestones and growth we hoped for – they just look different than expected.