In Case You’re Wondering: #MuchToBeProudOf

May 18, 2018 | Messages from the Superintendent

The days on the calendar have transitioned from April to May, the weather outside has abruptly transitioned from 50’s and 60’s to the high 80’s, and end-of-year school activities require an oversized calendar to accommodate the lengthy list.  Yes, it is May at Emporia Public Schools. Too often in all of our busyness we simply lose track of time, and before we know it, we transition into summer activities. At the risk of sounding a bit sentimental, a trip down memory lane to celebrate a few milestones from the 2017-18 school year seems appropriate.  

Sometimes in all of the activity of our daily lives, we forget simply to take a little time each day or even each week just to think about the great things that we have experienced.  If you are a parent of a kindergarten student at Emporia Schools, it is very likely that your son or daughter progressed from being a struggling reader to one who comes home excited about what he or she can read.  Staff members, although ready for the upcoming summer vacation, are taking time to reflect and laugh with students about the many accomplishments and growth that have occurred throughout the school year. We take time at the end of the year to celebrate many achievements ranging from bus drivers being recognized at the statewide bus “Roadeo,” to three schools being honored as Challenge Award winners, to Horizon Award winners and Kansas Teacher of the Year nominees and a Kansas Master Teacher award winner.  And we can’t forget our Capturing Kids Hearts Showcase Nationally Recognized School, our first graduates from an onsite program with a community business partner, and numerous partnerships that have been established among our schools, businesses, and community organizations. This list represents a small percentage of a much larger pool of accomplishments from the past year that includes the personal best achievement at an activity or sporting event, the student, school employee, and parent who worked diligently throughout the year to help create a successful situation that left everyone smiling, and the nearly 6,821 #Emporia Proud interactions that have been shared on Twitter.  Simply said, WE have much to be proud of.

At this time of year, we are in full swing with transition mode.  Emporia Public Schools employs approximately 1,200 employees. It is during this time of year that we celebrate the successes of our current staff who will be retiring or moving to another position.  This year, we have 33 employees who will be retiring. With these retirements, we will be losing 655.5 years of experience, expertise and knowledge. In our district office alone, with the retirement of three employees, we will be losing 85 years of combined experience.  We cannot replace that experience, those friendships, the hard work and the relationships that they have worked so hard to cultivate. To our new hires, we are extremely excited to welcome you to Emporia Schools. We believe it is a great place! To our returning staff, you form the nucleus of the best team assembled at USD 253 in recent years.  Your skills, knowledge and experiences coupled with highly recruited incoming draft picks create great possibilities for the 2018-19 school year. Never underestimate what can be accomplished when a group of great people is assembled. To those looking for the possibility of working in an environment where you can make a difference each and every day for students, we invite you to be a part of our family.  

I can remember having a conversation with my grandmother when I was young, wishing that summer vacation would be here soon.  She simply told me, “Be careful wishing for things to happen too fast, you will end up wishing your life away.” So as you think about the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year, I challenge you not to wish that the school year were over but rather that you work to create memories of the current school year that will propel you into the summer and the upcoming 2018-19 school year.  We have much to be proud of, much to celebrate and much to look forward to. I challenge you to continue to create daily #EmporiaProud moments for your classroom, family, friends and colleagues throughout the remainder of May.

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