I hope that you are enjoying a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends. It’s a special time of year where we stop and think about the things that are truly important. There are many things to be thankful for in the Spring Lake Park School District.
I am thankful for our outstanding staff that is doing great work, consistently keeping the needs of our learners at the center of planning and decision-making. Our staff members work diligently each day to meet the diverse and varied needs of learners of all age, that range in age from birth to senior citizen. The commitment of our staff is something I am thankful for each day.
Last week was American Education Week, a week in which the importance of education and learning is recognized and celebrated. As I said in a note to our staff, we are a district of 330 teachers, and over twice as many educators. This is because every employee – teacher and para, cook and custodian, principal and coach – takes advantage of the opportunity to create meaningful, personal connections with students, and thereby influences and makes a difference in the lives of these learners whose well-being we’re entrusted with each day. I have often shared this quote of Jim Knight, an educator from the University of Kansas, who describes the importance of learning this way: “Radical learners are people who are driven by learning, who get up in the morning fired up to try something new, to make a difference, to teach and learn. They work the system to make it better, more equitable, more challenging and supportive. They work really hard because they know how much learning matters.”
Our faculty and staff know how much learning matters, but they cannot – and do not – do the work alone, however.
This is why I am so thankful for the support that our parents and community members provide in so many ways. They take time from their busy day to volunteer at schools, participate on advisory councils, work with their PTAs and PTOs and lead efforts such as our thriving Panther Foundation.
I am thankful as well for the great support from and partnerships with our local businesses; faith community; Lions, VFW and Rotary; the MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce; and many other fine service organizations.
Most importantly, we are fortunate to have a parent community that is so supportive of their children academically, and in their participation in activities.
We have great schools throughout the Spring Lake Park School District. We have dedicated and valued staff in each of these schools who are committed to improving student learning. They collectively tackle the challenges we face as we continue to position the school district to meet the needs of our students in the future.
Each week I try to get around and spend time in our schools and classrooms. This fall I’ve been continually impressed by what I observe time after time in school after school – excellence in innovative, personalized instruction. The engagement of students is continually at the highest level. How did it get that way? It happens when there are adult learners who are committed to their students. The adults in our schools are continually learning and the students in each school benefit as a result.
As always, I encourage you to visit our website and learn about the wonderful work of our students and staff, and the many ways our parents and community support our school district. There is a wealth of information available at SpringLakeParkSchools.org.
Thank you for giving us the privilege of preparing the community’s young learners for the future, and for your continual support of the work that we do. Happy Thanksgiving.
Jeff Ronneberg is the superintendent of the Spring Lake Park School District 16.