Black Gold School Division
And just like that – the summer of 2022 is over. I spent the first few days back visiting as many of our schools as I was able. The joy that I experienced in each building became so palpable that by Friday, my face was sore from smiling so much. I can honestly say that I am overwhelmed by the energy and enthusiasm that I have been feeling in each school staff.
I hope each and every one of you had a relaxing, restful summer because you deserved it. Working with and caring for children with such diverse needs is taxing. The opportunity to refuel is a key component to doing great work in schools.
One of the things I love about the teaching profession is that it is cyclical and we get to start a fresh slate at the beginning of every school year. This always brings with it hope and possibility.
Part of our growth plan this year includes getting out to the schools more to support and develop the foundation of education, which is relationships, and to encourage and support a culture of belonging. We will continue to follow our strategic direction. Our three priorities of Success, Wellness and Engagement and Partnerships will form the basis of strategic discussions and influence decisions and actions moving forward.
To those educators who are implementing the new curriculum this year, I hope you will take advantage of the resources we’ve put in place for you. To those of you who will have a bad day (and no doubt most of us will), I hope you will take advantage of the mental health and wellbeing supports available to you.
Public education can be a complicated thing. At the end of the day, what is most important is what happens in the classroom and with students. Our teacher’s voices and experiences, and our students’ voices and experiences are indeed most important.
Whether you’re a teacher, custodian, education assistant, secretary, IT professional, healthcare worker or support staff; whether you are in front of students or work behind the scenes, your job is important and you are a valued member of the Black Gold Family.
A family is a group of people who care about each other, look after each other, are excited for each other’s successes and work together for the good of the whole in times of need and in times of celebration. Every member of the “family” holds some responsibility for the welfare of every other member. As the family evolves, it creates norms, traditions, and stories, and the parents and guardians of the family play a critical role in this development.
My sincere hope this year is that our educators and students think of school as a place where communities of learners gather to do interesting work that matters. At Black Gold, we chose our mission: To Inspire Success, very deliberately because success can mean so many different things. To some students, it might mean academic success; to others, athletic success. To one student, it might mean making a good choice in a tough situation, and to another it might mean finding a friend while they sit on the buddy bench.
Parents, you are our partners in education. We know that you only send us your best children and we will respect them and do our best to ensure that they leave our care just a little bit better than when they came to us. We ask for your help to make our public education system even better.
Educators, help your students to learn, help them smile, and help them belong. Ask hard and interesting questions. Use failure as a teaching tool – as an inspiration to try something new. And please, share your breakthroughs and insights with your colleagues. Above all, empower and inspire your students and colleagues toward success, whatever form it takes.
Have a fantastic school year!
Superintendent / Chief Educational Officer of Black Gold Schools