I was officially sworn-in as Superintendent of ABSS yesterday at noon by Judge Larry Brown, Jr. Accompanied by my wife, Barbara, who held the Bible given to me by my grandmother, and our youngest daughter, Leah, and her boyfriend (who I am pretty sure didn’t think he would be called to stand with us), I swore to faithfully discharge the duties of my office of Superintendent of the Alamance-Burlington School System.
Thank you to all who attended. I was overwhelmed by the level of support from our school system and the greater community. In attendance were school and communities leaders to include school board members, commissioners, law enforcement, faith-based leaders, representatives from high education, community advocacy groups, teachers, principals, assistant principals, business leaders, community service providers, and more.
Our five year-round schools are getting ready to start. I had the privilege of meeting new teachers heading to Haw River Elementary, North Graham Elementary and Graham Middle School.
Finding great teachers (and holding on to them) in an ever shrinking applicant pool is a challenge for school systems across the country. It is important that we welcome new teachers not only to ABSS, but to our community as well. While we are a large school system, there is a palpable sense of community – something I have experienced since my arrival. In many ways, a sense of belonging is a basic human need. In our case, it is particularly important when it comes to seeing value in what we do – preparing our students for their futures – and that we make a difference, as individuals and a collective.
So, in the spirit of developing a sense of belonging, I asked the group to share some things about themselves (that they were OK with sharing). Among the group, we have an ABSS graduate returning to teach 4th grade, someone who is obsessed with coffee, a pet goat owner, a theater lover, a ceramic artist, and a fan of mathematics (at least until the 5th grade).
I am looking forward to welcoming all of our new teachers in the coming weeks.
Moved into my office today – books, binders, family pictures, and a favorite piece of student-produced artwork (There is a story to the piece that I will share later. Dan Pink writes about 6 essential senses in A Whole New Mind, one of which is story. I believe in the power of story.).
While I have much to learn and many people to meet in the coming weeks, I already know this about ABSS, we care deeply about our students, staff, and community.
I look forward to learning more about ABSS successes and opportunities in the coming weeks as we prepare to welcome students back to school for the 2018-19 school year, including a new class of kindergarteners, the Class of 2031!
P.S. My wife and I registered for our first local 5K – the 2018 OT Sports 5K Run/Walk for Autism which finishes across the Burlington Royals’ home plate, no less! And, in case you are wondering, we purchased a home – 2 weeks to close.