In any given moment we have two options: to step forward
into growth or to step back into safety.
– Abraham Maslow
Those are the words that guided me this past year as I
became the superintendent of Bexley City Schools. Those are also the words that I shared with
our staff last August as I asked them to be bold in their thinking about what
we could do for our students. As I
reflect upon this past year, I can confidently say that it has been a year of
growth for all of us, and one that has positioned us for even greater growth
and accomplishments moving forward.
This past year has been one of listening and learning for
me. I made it a priority to develop an
understanding of our district’s strengths, as well as challenges, in order to
provide leadership to guide our future.
Over the course of the year, we conducted surveys of staff, students,
parents, and community members on a variety of topics including technology,
reading instruction, and electronic report cards. We also conducted a scientifically
designed, public opinion survey of our district with Fallon Research and
Communications. And, I held almost 100
meetings with groups or individuals in my first seven months on the job. All of this data-gathering was then used to
direct our next major effort: strategic planning.
In partnership with Leadership Excelleration, Inc., Bexley
City Schools began a comprehensive communitywide strategic planning process in
March. In addition to the data already
gathered, LEI solicited input and feedback on our district’s strengths and
areas for growth. Over 300 students,
faculty, parents, and community members were invited to participate in one of
nine focus groups. Additionally, over
3000 students, faculty, parents, and community members were invited to
participate in an online survey, which was also designed to gather feedback on
strengths and opportunities. Thousands
of data points were collected and organized by theme. That data was shared with the Board of
Education, the Strategic Planning Team, and the District’s administrative team
for their reaction. Finally, after three
months of data gathering, the Strategic Planning Team began writing the
strategic plan, which is organized around four bold themes:
• Build upon a
student-centered culture of learning
• Open doors that
lead to flexible, expansive future opportunities
• Leverage and grow
vital community relationships
• Develop a
The completed strategic plan will be recommended to the
Board of Education at their August 20, meeting.
This new strategic plan will include updated vision, mission, and values
that are informed by the many who participated in the process. Further, the strategic plan will serve as our
Bexley Blueprint guiding us to engage, equip, and empower each Bexley student
both today and tomorrow. It is our goal
to be a learning and growing school district.
It is our goal to be Bexley Bold!