The Superintendent

Olympic Efforts in District 56.




Presently the Summer Olympics are the rage on NBC. Morning, noon, and night there is an abundance of coverage...sports we like and even those we really don’t understand.


Sunday morning I watched the fencing finals as a young pre-med student from Kentucky won gold against her Russian competitor. Naturally my heart swelled with excitement for her and pride for our country.


Although we aren’t having an Olympics in the district this summer, we are having Olympic efforts to upgrade technology,to improve HVAC efficiency in classrooms, and to teach students in summer programs. Athletic practices and summer conditioning are at a fevered pace as well.


The Olympics in Tokyo are two weeks of jam-packed excitement.and international media coverage...even with COVID. In the district we have six weeks (yep, that’s all of summer break there was this past summer.) of equally jam-packed work to clean the buildings, to strip and wax the hall and classroom floors, to strip and coat the gymnasiums, and to feed students during our summer feeding (which ended last Monday a week ago).


The many people involved in the District 56 Olympics will not receive medals or acclaim yet their actions will enable us to go back to school in clean, improved learning environments. Our Olympic athletes will not have commercial endorsements but will be all-stars in our books all the same...folks like Cindy Jacobs in Food Service and her wonderful cafeteria crew, MVP’s like Lee Templeton and the marvelous men of maintenance, and Lance Taylor and the titans of technology. 


Summer is often seen as a quiet time...but actually it is our most busy season. Teachers and administrators attend numerous conferences and work getting lessons together for the next year. District staff learn from virtual platforms how to improve teaching and build effective cultures in the classroom and across the schools.


As I write this, we are two weeks out before teachers return, three weeks before students.


Where did the summer go?


Terri had two conferences last week...both virtual. She had one on the desktop and the other on her Chromebook. It was too much sensory overload for me but she told me exactly what each one was about and how she could make improvements in her programming this year as a Career Development Facilitator at Clinton High School.


Although we don’t give gold, silver, or bronze medals in our annual district Olympics, we do deeply appreciate the dedication, detail, and service of all the disparate parts that make a district function well once students return.


By the time of my next article, we will be hitting our stride with “back to school” activities...but now is a most appropriate time to give a “Hip! Hip! Hooray!” to the many people who compose the “invisible” operational and maintenance crews who keep us clean, safe, and upgraded with the newest technology.


We in District 56 constantly speak about “The Experience Matters.” Without what happens in the summer, the “Experience” would be far less than it is. 


Take a bow all 240-day staff and administration, all maintenance, technology, food service, and bus drivers. You are the cog holding us all together and I am most grateful. 

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