Column: School leader appreciates district contributors

4:22 PM, May 9, 2013  |  Comments
Attila Weninger
Attila Weninger
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This week is one we recognize as Teacher Appreciation Week - a week for us to take a moment and show our deep appreciation to those who have devoted their lives and careers to the next generation. It is a week to recognize, honor and thank all those within our district who contribute to the growth, development and success of our most precious assets: our students.

? The Board of Education is the governing body of the district. Through its leadership, these nine elected citizens ensure the district is executing its primary goal: to prepare each student to be successful. Through debate and discussion, agreement and disagreement, consensus and a common goal, the community entrusts the Board to advance the district. For their time, effort and often difficult decision-making, we give thanks.

? Administration is leadership. This district group takes its lead from Board approved district goals and is responsible for implementing them with fidelity. Administrators are responsible for scanning the educational landscape and horizon, promoting new best practices and tools to teachers and other staff members. They are also responsible for creating climates in which students are valued and respected; in which staff are respected and valued and work collegially and collaboratively, being able to bring forward new ideas for teaching and learning; and in which parents feel welcome and proud of their schools.

? If students are our assets, teachers are the investors of our district. They are in classrooms with students each and every day, teaching them, guiding them, testing them, caring for them and investing in them and in our community's collective future. Our teachers inspire, instill knowledge and prepare our students. In doing so, they provide the opportunities for students to meet rigorous district, state and national standards on what they should know and be able to do.

? Educational assistants work hand-in-hand, side-by-side with our teachers implementing educational strategies, in as individualized a way as possible, so that students learn better, deeper and faster. The support they provide to the teacher is critical, often allowing for a more individualized approach. Office educational assistants provide equally as important functions, assisting principals, social workers, counselors, psychologists, students, staff, parents and visitors in the smooth, efficient and caring operation of school. With them, our services and our students are enhanced.

? Clerical staff throughout the district lend administrative support to the district's 14 schools and various departments. Their work varies from parent liaisons to calling mom when there is a tummy ache; from keeping budgets in line to assisting students, staff, parents and visitors in need; from being the first "responder" to a crisis to keeping administrators and supervisors informed of the many facets of school. Their work is invaluable, often behind the scenes, but valued greatly.

? Support services are the technological and front line backbone of the district. Technology Support Services maintain our technical infrastructure in and outside of the classrooms running. From the district's website to SMART boards; from troubleshooting a computer error to maintaining our 1:1 laptop initiative, they make it possible for our district to forge new paths of implementing technology in our classrooms and offices. Administrative assistants are the front line support services who assist administrators in the function of their jobs. They are expected to know virtually all functions of the departments in which they work, and exceed those expectations with proven professionalism, effective communication, and skills that provide additional tools for the district.

? The district's custodial and maintenance staff keeps the physical infrastructure of our district in the best of conditions. They work first, second and third shifts, ensuring our students and staff have clean and healthy environments in which to teach and learn. Our facilities are a great source of pride for the district and the community, as they should be. This is due in large part to this staff who put the district's best foot forward and whom we should thank daily for their success in doing so.

? Each morning and noon, our dedicated food service managers and staff feed our students, staff and hundreds of other community members quickly, quietly and well. They don't just serve food, they serve our students as role models, as moms at "school home," and as those entrusted to provide a healthy and balanced meal. They give our students body, mind and heart sustenance. To be sure, their jobs are not easy, toiling in hot kitchens, meeting "must do" deadlines and performing their duties with care.

? Transportation staff includes bus drivers, mechanics and route supervisors. Their "hub," expertise, and care provide safe rides to and from school, field trip transportation, rides to and from athletic and other co-curricular events/activities for our teams, groups and coaches/sponsors. They are often the first district "teacher" to greet our students on their way to school in the morning, and the last district "teacher" to say goodbye at the end of the school day. They care for our students in ways that only they can.

It is to these more than 1,000 district staff members that we, as a community, give great thanks. Our collective and successful future depends on the investment we make in our assets. Our students' lives will represent that investment. We acknowledge the returns we have already seen, and value greatly those to be seen because of your endeavors.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

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1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1279 votes

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports