Journey of a Superintendent: Never Underestimate

By Dr. Cynthia Lane, Superintendent of Schools

A week doesn’t pass without a group of individuals living the essence of what anthropologist Margaret Meade meant when she stated:

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has!”

South Branch Library in Kansas City, Kansas

I have witnessed countless examples of small groups of committed people changing the world over the past few weeks. One significant example is the fund raising to raise $2 million in support of building a new public library, the South Branch Library in Kansas City, Kansas (KCK). Seven years ago, we reached out to the community to help us construct a new facility to replace a 97-year-old structure that housed the public library in Argentine. A small group of committed individuals accepted the charge and, over a period of 36 months, in the middle of the greatest recession since the “depression era,” gave of their time and resources to make sure the dream of a new library came to reality.

We can’t thank enough our Director of Libraries, Carol Levers, and community members Ramon and Sally Murguia, Victor and Delia Hernandez, and Janey Humphries for their commitment to the community. You only have to visit the new South Branch Library to see the legacy we are providing for our children and community. Our Board of Education, in addition to serving as the governing body for one of the best urban school districts in the nation, governs the public library system in KCK. The Board had faith in the commitment and drive of the fund raising committee to be successful in raising $2 million in private funds, and invested an additional $4 million in order to construct the new facility. This new library will serve as the center of the community, and of life-long learning, for years to come and a strong reminder that “it’s up to us.”

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