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Superintendent’s Message: High Expectations, Endless Opportunity

Theresa Davidson, Superintendent of Schools

Theresa Davidson, Superintendent of Schools

All of us remember being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Our teachers and our parents might even have made predictions about our future based on the skills and qualities they observed.

Imagine that task today! Students starting kindergarten this fall will graduate from high school in 2028 and then continue on to post-secondary education. It is not possible to predict all of the careers that will be available to these tykes when they enter the workforce in 2032.

I often reflect upon the learning that defined my own childhood. I remember flash cards, spelling bees, pages of addition and multiplication problems, stories of Dick and Jane, and smelly dissections of a very unfortunate frog. For a girl in the early 1970s, I was training to be a teacher, a secretary, or a nurse. Today, in a world where career possibilities for all students are endless and perhaps not even invented yet, knowing how to learn is more essential than knowing what to learn. The training for today’s students must look different too.

One thing is certain: a quality education is more important than ever. During the next decade, the demand for highly skilled workers is expected to increase significantly. Where once about one-third of jobs required advanced educational credentials, futurists predict a world where more than two-thirds of all jobs will require training beyond a high school diploma. When you add the challenge of finding a job that offers a salary suitable to support a family, that balance shifts even more dramatically to the need for post-secondary training or education.

With that in mind, the work that students, educators and support staff engage in each school day is critically important in so many ways. Note that I listed students first. We all know the importance of a good teacher but just as important is the work of a good student!

So this month, as teachers and support staff return to school, families engage in traditional back-to-school activities, and we join in the flurry of festivities that signal the first days of school, let’s give a special nod for the hard work ahead of all of them in the “march to college and career readiness!”

All of our schools have open houses scheduled a few days before the start of school.

  • Maynard Early Childhood Center: Monday, Aug. 17, from 3 to 5 pm
  • Elementary Schools: Monday, Aug. 17, from 4 to 6 pm
  • Emporia Middle School 6th Grade: Thursday, Aug. 13, from 6 to 8 pm
  • Emporia Middle School 7th & 8th Grades: Monday, Aug. 17, from 6 to 8 pm
  • Emporia High School Parent Orientation & Tour, Tuesday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 7:30 pm

New students in kindergarten through high school will start school on August 19. It is an opportunity to meet teachers and become familiar with routines and expectations. School starts for all students on August 20.

It’s a challenging time in education. Expectations are higher than ever; resources are stretched to unprecedented limits; and yet, it’s an exciting time when the possibilities are endless for college and career ready students!  We look forward to sharing the joys and countless memories that will become the 2015-16 school year.

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