It is my honor as Bend-La Pine Schools’ interim superintendent to welcome our students, families and staff to the 2020-21 school year.
While I am new to this role, I am a familiar face for many in our schools. I’ve spent the past 12 years serving in Bend-La Pine Schools, most recently as assistant superintendent. I have spent my career in public education, most of it here in Central Oregon.
This year will not be like any other that I’ve known in my more than 40 years in education. But I know that together, we can make it a meaningful year of growth and connections.
With so much changing in our world and our community, my goal is for our schools, as much as possible, to provide safe and secure learning spaces for our students and families. My goal as a leader is to help our schools continue to build upon our long history of excellence and to uphold our collective value of success for each student.
As educators, our role is to help students learn, to better understand the world and diverse people around them, and to foster collaboration, self-actualization, and a commitment to the common good. Those commitments will not change. Because of this global pandemic and health guidelines, many learning experiences are likely to look different than they did in the past. But much of what makes us Bend-La Pine Schools will remain the same:
I hope you will take time to look through the pages of this calendar and
find inspiration in the artwork created by our students. We asked them
to share a photograph or piece of art with the theme #BLSproud, to
highlight something they are proud of about their school or their school
district. Their answers are heartwarming:
“Kids like to spread joy and help others.”
“I am proud to be part of a school community that values our natural environment and teaches us how to become good stewards of the land.”
“Our schools are open to diversity and different points of view.”
“What I learn at my school makes me feel strong and proud!”
I, too, am proud to be part of Bend-La Pine Schools and to help lead the district through this year of transition. I am proud of the tremendous work of our teachers, who are dedicated to helping students learn and connecting with them in whatever form that takes. I am proud of our support staff members who are working tirelessly to provide services for our students. I am proud to see our staff learn, change and grow as the world around us changes. I am proud to be a part of this team of incredible people every day. I am proud to be part of a district that values equity, providing each student with what they need to find success.
Finally, I am proud of our students, their courage, compassion, and creativity. Two of my five grandchildren are among our 18,000+ students. Ensuring that we provide the best educational experiences possible for them, as well as each and every one of our students, is what drives me every day.