As the new Bibb County Superintendent of Schools, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the students of this community and improve the educational opportunities provided them. Also, I want to thank everyone for the warm and inviting welcome my family and I have received.
The message I want to convey to our students, our faculty and staff, our parents, and our community is one of hope…of commitment…of action…and, most importantly, of change and improvement.
As we begin this journey together to improve the lives of our children through education, I want to ask you one question: “What kind of commitment are you willing to make in order for us to have a portfolio of highly successful 21st Century students and schools?”
I want to challenge each of you to make a commitment to look to our students and give them what is needed to be successful. This commitment and challenge must be our most important work, as the future of our community is dependent upon the success, not of a few children, but of all children that walk through our school doors each and every day.
As the world around us changes, so do the requirements to achieve success or achieve successful lives. The days of securing meaningful work and careers without access to a quality education are over. We have moved into the Knowledge Age, and students must now have, at minimum, a Bachelors degree to secure a future of prosperity and productivity.
Across the nation, children face many obstacles which impede their progress to a prosperous and productive future. These obstacles include low expectations for achievement; a lack of adult role models; inadequate funding for basic educational needs; and a tragic lack of parental involvement in their education.
However, I believe that, even though these challenges may impact student achievement, they do not cause low achievement. A national education system that is not designed to educate all students is what causes low achievement. I do not believe our current achievement results reflect the effort of our students, our teachers, our parents, or our community. They reflect the perfect design of a system that has not changed to meet the needs of its current populace. Ladies and gentleman… what we have is a systems failure.
Unless we change the current system, we will never achieve the outcomes for our children that
they deserve and we desire for them. We must change the system in order to prepare our students to earn a Bachelors degree or higher.
Each and every child has the ability to achieve at high levels, graduate from high school, attend college, and lead a successful life. It is up to us, as educators and as a community, to give them those opportunities…to encourage and push them to be successful…and to support them whenever needed. It is up to us to change the system that is failing them.
As we move along this journey of hope, commitment, action, change, and improvement, I ask you to join me as a community in a Call to Action.
As I attempt to move this district forward and to ensure success for all, I will need your help as students, as parents, as colleagues, and as community partners. What will I – and most importantly, our students – need from you?
- You must believe that all students can learn at high levels and can develop strength of character…the expectations you hold for students must reflect that belief on a daily basis;
- You must be willing to challenge any belief or behavior that prevents children from rapidly building knowledge and skill;
- You must become a champion for every child of this district…and for the innovation and change required to achieve success for every child; and
- Finally, you must be willing to work alongside me…and others in this district and this community…to make educating every child the number one priority of Bibb County.
Together, we will make the changes necessary to bring hope to our children for their future…renew the commitment of our community for education…bring about the action necessary to make change…and ultimately improve our children’s lives now and in the future.