As we approach the end of the school year, I often reflect back on the months that have passed and the work that we have done to embrace the concept of continuous improvement in our district.
We have made significant progress in fostering a community that works together toward finding solutions to obstacles which we confront while understanding the need to agree to disagree and to disagree without being disagreeable. I sincerely hope we can be a community that assumes noble intentions by actions that are taken and decisions and changes are never personal.
I greatly appreciate the knowledge, passion and conviction in our community and I feel that each of those tenets will play major roles as we continue to move forward. Sometimes, there is a need to change things so we can improve upon them.
That change is never easy and if we allow it, it can consume much of our positive energy.
We cannot let the negativity of the day rule our thoughts while attacking those with whom we disagree. We all have a perspective to add and our job, every day, is create the best possible experience for all of our 7,825 students.
Reynoldsburg has an incredible amount of potential to become a district that is viewed as a trendsetter in education nationwide.
I'm not strictly talking about test scores.
My goal is to seek recognition based on an infrastructure that supports optimal learning, experiential opportunities, leadership development and positive community and civic engagement.
If we can create the conditions necessary to support all students and to foster a sense of ownership of their schools and community within them, test scores will take care of themselves. Their sense of belonging and acceptance of their own responsibility to our community play tremendous roles in creating those conditions.
I hope that our community recognizes the keen desire to honor and pay homage to our past while using that past as a buoying point to spur future enhancement. Changing simply for change's sake is not a motivator. We must seek purposeful change that can carry us to even greater heights of success. As we have often stated, "We will not allow our kids to simply be relegated to being a test score." They are vessels of promise and hope that will lead our world in the future and we must value them as such - all of them.
I do not take my role as superintendent lightly. I recognize that I have an enormous responsibility to our students. Upon beginning this journey late last summer, many of the obstacles that we had to overcome were quite obvious and we confronted those. In doing so, other obstacles revealed themselves and they require our steadfast commitment and collective thought.
Problem identification is the easy work. Anyone can do that. Problem solution is another story. It requires sacrifice, ingenuity, strategy, risk taking and the internal fortitude to confront barriers and complacency.
Our community deserves our best, and in navigating concerns, mistakes will be made.
We must all know that those mistakes are never intentional and are simply indications of effort being put forth to chase greatness.
We must avoid the tendency to be satisfied with status quo.
Constantly probing, questioning and examining our progress is the key to becoming all that we can be.
I am grateful for an opportunity to work in and be a part of the community. Together, we can accomplish anything and I always remain #reynproud.
Melvin J. Brown is superintendent of Reynoldsburg schools. His office provides this column to ThisWeek Reynoldsburg News.