As many of you know, I am leaving North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) at the end of June to assume the role of Executive Director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. Though I am proud to continue serving education and educators, leaving this wonderful place saddens me.
We have been through much together.
We have seen great successes; most notably the great achievements of our students both inside and outside the classroom. Students are the reason all of us do what we do and the students of NBAPS make me proud every single day with their words and deeds. They are thoughtful and kind, and demonstrate good character in countless ways to support each other, their friends and family, their community, and sometimes even complete strangers. They are a testament to the good work of our parents/guardians and community, who passionately teach the values our students display.
I have been blessed during my time at NBAPS with tremendous staff. I was so pleasantly surprised upon my arrival to learn how deeply almost every single employee of NBAPS cares about the children of the community and making sure we utilize our resources to the best of our ability. They care so much because they are more than employees. Many are also parents who depend on the school district to educate their kids.
As I look around the school district I must admit to feeling great pride about the passage of the May 2017 referendum. The improvements to facilities are amazing! As a result students have better resources than ever, and NBAPS is well positioned to help the community attract new residents in coming years.
Together we absorbed tragic losses in both our student and staff communities, braved four-day weeks, overcame funding challenges, and worked together to improve educational opportunities for kids, such as providing Air Force JROTC, Pro-Start, K-12 Spanish, devices for students, balanced literacy, the BARR program, trap-shooting, robotics expansion, on-site mental health care services, and much more. We provided a site and design support to local veterans and, someday soon, there will be a beautiful veterans memorial on the high school grounds.
I am proud to say that, though decisions made by the school district were not always popular, they were always based on what we felt was best for students. Most of all, I am - and always will be - proud to say I served North Branch Area Public Schools and I am deeply grateful for the support, connections, and friendships that were made along the way.
Thank you all for making my time here such a phenomenal experience!