Burke's Blog - October 2020
Posted October 26, 2020
Happy Fall Ya'll
For this month’s blog, I thought I would talk about change. I think we are all growing accustomed to change, what with the constant fluctuation in our weather to the state of circumstances we find ourselves in currently. I once heard someone say, “change isn’t hard...it’s the transition.” I couldn’t agree more. We have certainly experienced a great deal of change over the past few months, and the transition from the way we used to do things to the way things are now wasn’t easy. It was painful; it stretched us and made us uncomfortable along the way. The trick, I think, is to come out of that change in a better place than we were before.
We’ve been talking a lot in our leadership team meetings about what kind of district or organization we want to be. The question I posed was, “Do we want to be a stable organization or a resilient one?” Stable organizations stay pretty constant over time and get pretty good at doing things a certain way. But, how responsive are they to change? Resilient organizations, in contrast, respond to and are transformed by changing conditions. I think we are a resilient district and a resilient community. Even though we may not like some of the changes that are headed our way, I think that it’s critical that we embrace the opportunities that lie before us to not only respond, but thrive in this new environment. Have we made mistakes over the past few months? Absolutely. Will we continue to make mistakes as we move forward? Absolutely. Will our community let us know if we make mistakes? Absolutely! And they should. I can tell you that every criticism, every email, every Facebook post, and every phone call matters to us. We see what is being said and what is being written, and we always take an internal look to see what we can do better.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again here: We aspire to be a district that is driven by our values, our beliefs, our mission, and our vision. That’s not always easy, especially in the face of change and transition. But, living by these things will transform our district, not just allow us to be responsive. This has been a hard time for everyone. Our parents are stressed, our students are stressed, and our faculty and staff is stressed. I think even our country is stressed! But what choice do we have but to move forward? There is no magic bullet here. We have to continue to rely on each other to affect the outcome we want. The only way we do that is through constant communication (both ways), through strengthening our relationships, by being humble and taking ownership of our actions, and keeping our students at the forefront of our focus.
I don’t know what the future holds. But, I do know that we will continue to be faced with challenges as we grow as a district and a community. But, who will we choose to be in the face of these challenges? How will we act and how will we treat each other? We exist to Cultivate Exceptional People. That is our mission. It is why we are here. We will continue to aspire to do that to the best of our ability. So, please keep giving us feedback. It’s how we get better. It’s how we transform in the face of adversity, and ultimately, it is how we become resilient. Thank you for the opportunity, as always, to serve as your Superintendent.
Dr. Jeff Burke