Usually I have to gobble something quickly in between meetings.
Sometimes I’m even lucky enough to grab a bite in the high school cafeteria with a few teachers, support staff, or a group of students.
But yesterday I had lunch with an amazing group of ladies.
Wow! Talk about community spirit!
For more than 50 years, the Frankenmuth Women’s Club has been selflessly serving our community in a wide variety of ways.
Part of the club’s stated mission is to “further education”
and I was honored to be the invited guest speaker.
Given their long-time support for our schools, and learning in general, I think they’d want me to share a portion of yesterday’s talk – The 5 Big Questions We’re Wrestling with in FSD Today.
When it comes to discussing the future of our district –
the more people involved – the better!
- What is the greatest challenge facing education today?
While FSD is blessed to have a caring and talented instructional and support staff, it’s becoming more difficult to recruit and retain the classroom teachers every year. We now must thoughtfully focus on training and resources for staff beyond instructional needs.
- Is there something besides a diploma you hope every FHS grad will take with them?
You bet! In short, there are five areas I’d like to see us step up and help our graduations leave with more of: “soft” people skills like teamwork and interpersonal communication, analytical skills, recognized national credentials, real-world work experiences, and actual college credits.
- How is education different today than 25 years ago when you began your career?
Well, back then, there obviously was no internet or social media. And, no doubt, we all have our own opinions about that. But, in general, our schools had more support systems in place like mental health resources and onsite school nurses. Importantly, (see question #1) being in education was viewed as a prestigious profession with attractive pay and benefits. Video game designers and software developers have that image now.
- What are your main goals for your first year as the FSD superintendent?
I want to devote the time to Listen… Learn… Reflect… and Act (and do so in this order) I want to keep growing in my appreciation and respect for what it means to be an FSD Eagle. Our traditions are deep. Our expectations are high. And we know the future will require us to be more agile, welcoming, innovative, and build networks beyond our local boundaries. By the end of 2022, I want to see FSD’s new Strategic Plan for District discussed, designed, and on track.
- What are the district plans for safety of students attending Frankenmuth schools?
I believe we’re working diligently to have the right balance of resources in place to positively impact the safety of our students and everyone in our schools. We’re grateful for our caring, positive, and thoughtful school partners (parents, health professionals, community & business leaders, law enforcement, family relationship experts, non-profits, clergy, etc.) AS WELL AS the commitment we are making to improving our facilities, staff training, and technology.
We are upgrading cameras and monitors, warning and phone systems, universal door locking/badge security, better protection for our servers, window film, and renovating, where possible, such as the new main office entry at List Elementary. We’re trying to be pro-active and invest in both our essential school partner relationships and our critical school infrastructure.
In closing –
I’d like to thank the Frankenmuth Women’s Club for their hospitality and kindness.
I hope you’ll briefly check out their website:https://frankenmuthwomensclub.org/
I wasn’t kidding when I said they’re an amazing group!
They’re active 12 months a year; at Christmas, summer concerts in the park, awarding scholarships to FHS grads, providing bus tours to visitors, selling flowers at springtime, and is barely the tip of the iceberg of all they do.
So please click over to their website.
Their list of annual Edelweiss Award Winners is impressive.
I’m grateful to them –
and to you!
Stay well and I’m looking forward to checking in with you next Thursday.