*Students are what we are about.
The best interests of students must always come first. As educators, we have a moral obligation to build and sustain the best schools possible. Our schools need to be safe, orderly, and supportive for all students, as we are responsible for the welfare of each and every one of them. Our students need and deserve the very best we have to offer them so that they will someday reach their full potentials and realize their dreams.
*Excellent Education for Every Student in Every Classroom Everyday
The fundamental purpose of the district is to ensure high levels of learning for every student. We must be relentless in our pursuit of success for all students. If we are to achieve success for all students, teachers must first work to build relationships with their students; for without strong and caring relationships, it is nearly impossible to inspire our students to achieve their highest potentials. All means all; Every means Every; Success for ALL.
*Student learning is the priority in all we do
The single most important thing school leaders can do to consistently focus the organization on student achievement is to frequently remind those who teach and work in the school district that this is our charge. In addition to this frequent and consistent articulation of the district’s core purpose, leaders must model this in our words, actions, and decisions as well. Our schools should cultivate in our students a desire for life-long learning, self-direction in their learning, critical thinking, and care for others.
*Good teachers and good schools do make a difference
Exemplary teaching is the key to improving student learning. Exemplary teaching is the key to moving all children toward high standards of learning. Exemplary teaching is what can make a real difference for all children, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. To develop and sustain exemplary teaching, we must equip teachers with a variety of strategies to meet the needs of individual students and their diverse learning styles. Nearly all teachers that I have encountered over the years are dedicated and caring people, who want what is best for their students. Our school district is committed to providing support, training, encouragement, and resources to help them to be at their very best for the students under their care.
*Much of the future of Estes Park will be the product of our choices we make now. What we do today matters –we will shape the future intentionally or accidently.
Students in the Estes Park School District are currently performing reasonably well on the high-stakes tests that have been identified to assess their achievement. Our school district is comparable to many in the state. The emerging challenge, however, is to not only elevate struggling students to standard, but provide opportunities for students who have already met the minimum standards to stretch themselves to the highest levels of achievement. The name of the game nowadays is continuous improvement. Continuous improvement is not about hurrying, but rather a steady, focused, and persistent approach to school improvement. We should never cease “looking for a better way” to educate our students.
*We are in the business improvement for all.
This notion is not exclusive to our students. We must also endeavor to cultivate knowledge, nurture skills, and develop leadership capacity in the adults throughout the organization and our community. We must challenge others to reflect, analyze, question, and explore possibilities on a frequent basis. We must model and promote the ideal of a “learning organization.” Many of the problems and challenges that will emerge in the future are much too complex in nature to rely upon a “select few” for solutions. We must cultivate knowledge and leadership throughout the system.
“Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn that when they teach.”
Our professional experience is fraught with problems and challenges, and we have become experts at coping. The most influential and resilient leaders tend to view problems as “opportunities.” When confronted with a seemingly impossible problem, exemplary leaders find ways to turn problems into opportunities to improve the school for our staff and students.
Superintendent of Schools
"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children." - Sitting Bull