In recent months, the words “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” have brought me both comfort and a sense of sadness as I face a time in my life of transition.
This school year marks my thirty-sixth year as an educator, thirty of which I have served here in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. During my time in KCKPS, I have worked alongside a committed board of education, outstanding teachers, dedicated administrators, and passionate support staff. I am inspired by the work we are doing in the district. I am proud of our commitment to engage in bold initiatives to help our students succeed. It has been an honor to be part of a learning community that has fully embraced these values, and believes in continuous improvement and growth for students and staff.
The last several months, I have been in a period of deep reflection. I have reflected over the decisions that have led to positive change and strong collaborations, as well as the many struggles and challenges we have faced. The words of scripture, “for everything there is a season…” serve as a poignant reminder to me that for each of us, there is a time to learn, to grow, to take risks, to lead, and a time to let go. I know now that I am in the winter of my time serving as superintendent in KCKPS. Now is the time to create space and opportunities for our next generation of leaders. I do so with confidence that new leadership, working closely with our board, will move Diploma+, and all the work we have done to help our students reach their dreams, to the next level of success.
It is with overwhelming gratitude to the board, my colleagues, my students, and this community that I have announced my retirement, effective June 30, 2018. Whatever may occur on the road ahead, I will continue to be a strong advocate and supporter of KCKPS. Together, our team has moved the school district from a good urban district, to a district held up as one of the most innovative and student-focused districts in our state. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but it has been right. Diploma+ will carry our students forward with vital skills and credentials they need to step into the next phase of their lives.
Over the next several months, we have much work to do. Our students are counting on us to continue to stay focused on our goal of graduating each student Diploma+. As we continue to focus on the present, while planning for the future, I encourage staff, students, families and community to continue to believe in yourselves, and to support each other. At the end of the day, remember: We are KCK, and we are better together.
It’s Up to Us.