Journey of a Superintendent: A Time for Thanks and Reflection

Dr. Cynthia Lane, Superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

As we enter the holiday season, I want to wish each of you peace, joy, and the love of the season. I am so grateful every day for the hard work, commitment, and tenacity of our teachers, principals, and support staff. Every day, my life is enriched by lessons I’ve learned from our students. I am fortunate my job allows me time to be in our classrooms and to be inspired by our outstanding students, many who have overcome odds that would stop most grownups. Much of the success of our students can be directly related to the efforts and talents of our teachers. There are thousands of examples of amazing students in KCK, although perhaps none more amazing than a four-year old child I recently met. His name is Christian.

Our Board of Education recognizes students and staff each month who have been nominated by teachers, principals and staff as outstanding individuals, and examples of excellence. It was heartwarming to listen to Christian’s teachers and principal speak of all the lessons learned from this small boy. It became so apparent that this little boy embraces learning and meets every obstacle with a tenacious spirit. The smile on his face and the joy that radiates from this child brightens any room. He refuses to allow any challenge to keep him from learning and enjoying life. Every eye in the room was filled with tears as he spoke of his dream to be a rock star. I, for one, am certain his future is only limited by his dreams. I know his teachers and other school staff, working alongside his family, will do whatever it takes to help Christian succeed. Christian is certainly an inspiration. He won’t allow the challenges of being born without hands and only one leg, to stand in his way. What a symbol for us all.

Christian is a reminder of all that we have to celebrate. I am thankful I have the chance to work in a place filled with extraordinary students, teachers, staff, and parents. Christian reminds us that, when focused on the right things, we can realize our dreams. It’s Up to Us.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

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