Dear AUSD Community:
With Thanksgiving week upon us, I want to extend my gratitude and appreciation to our entire staff and our families. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to serve this community and blessed to work with educators, employees, and families who not only value education, but demonstrate a willingness to rethink, reimagine, or reinvent what that education looks like for students.
There is much to celebrate in our schools, but above all we are thankful for our students: their irrepressible candor in discussions, their unbound curiosity and creativity, their hard work, and their managing of the range of uncertainty and newness they navigate at all levels of their education as growing people. They can try our patience, pressure check our proverbial last nerves, but they are amazing and filled with potential that is readily observable in some, buried deeper in others, but present in all. Our futures as adults are inextricably linked to the opportunities and outcomes we support and facilitate for all of them.
We can both celebrate the things we are doing well in the present and push ourselves as a community to create even better, more responsive, more impactful educational experiences for our kids. We can dent the disturbing racial predictability that we and other districts still see in many outcomes for students, we can consistently work against any and all forms of bias, remind ourselves to be reflective and creative in our lesson design, and never relent in a commitment to craft school environments that are welcoming, respectful, stimulating, and supportive for everyone.
We may not be there yet, but again, we can both celebrate the present positives, and also lock our efforts in on our challenges, and be thankful for both what we have accomplished as well as the opportunity to work towards the better together for kids.
"Happiness," wrote author Shawn Achor, "is not the belief that we don't need to change, it's the realization that we can."
I very much appreciate the opportunity to work with and for you all and wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.