As the school year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt "thank you" to the Hilliard community for the opportunity to serve as your superintendent.

As the school year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt "thank you" to the Hilliard community for the opportunity to serve as your superintendent.

Following in the footsteps of Dale McVey, who provided such strong leadership for 15 years, is a daunting task.

I am extremely proud that we, as a Hilliard schools family, have continued to provide progressive learning opportunities for students and to carry on the innovative culture that will truly have Hilliard students ready for tomorrow.

I am humbled by the support and generosity of this community. The entire Hilliard schools family is what makes this district -- this community -- a special place for young people to live, learn and grow.

The "Hilliard Way" is focused on community, on relationships and on genuine care for others. My family and I have been welcomed into our new community since our first day in Hilliard; it has quickly become our home.

Hilliard truly has the ideal of "Real People, Real Possibilities."

I'd like to specifically thank the Hilliard Board of Education for its trust and support. I am confident we are building a strong partnership and eager to continue our collective vision for the district.

Our district is blessed with dedicated, talented administrators, teachers and support staff.

While transitions can be a challenge, I am proud that our district hasn't skipped a beat. In fact, Hilliard Schools has continued to build on the foundation of innovative excellence. The scope of the McVey Innovative Learning Center continues to expand with the addition of the Academy MD and Code U programs. Our community engaged in the Technology Task Force with findings for continued integration of technology into our instructional practices and we continue to cultivate personalized educational opportunities for our students.

Finally, I'd like to thank our parents and students.

This district's mission is to ensure that "every student is ready for tomorrow." This requires a partnership -- an understanding that each student has different needs and learns in different ways. We can't do this alone.

I so appreciate the community's willingness to have open, honest conversations about our schools. I enjoy the dialogue; it is essential in a collaborative, transparent district.

Our students are wonderful. From the student advisory committee to engagement on Twitter, the students in the Hilliard schools have welcomed me into their school family. These young people are the reason we operate a public school district; the students are our purpose.

As we prepare for the summer months, I look forward to amazing things in the years to come.

We will continue to find opportunities to personalize learning; we know that one size clearly doesn't fit all.

We will seek opportunities to engage our community; we want to inspire confidence in our district and empower the community to enter into meaningful conversations about the schools.

While the summer has a slower pace, the work to prepare for the 2014-15 school year continues.

We will be ready to welcome students back to school in a few short months. I can assure you, come Aug. 19, we will be ready to embrace, empower and inspire our young people.

The Hilliard Schools Connection column is provided to ThisWeek Hilliard Northwest News by Superintendent John Marschhausen. Read more about the Hilliard schools on the Get Connected blog at