Distinctly Bexley Schools: Community working together to knock down walls

Dan Good
Guest Columnist

Randy Pausch, an accomplished educator and thought leader, once said, “Showing gratitude is one of the simplest, yet most powerful things humans can do for one another.”  

Pausch dedicated his life to the pursuit of new ideas and the encouragement of his students. His most well-known contribution is a speech, “The Last Lecture,” where he shares his end-of-life advice.  

Dan Good

He shares an inspiring message about achieving dreams and focusing on what matters most and as I recalled it, I could not help but think of the Bexley community.  

Over the last few months, I’ve seen much of his advice in action in our city as residents rally around each other, our students and our school system. I was inspired to share my gratitude.  

First and foremost, my deepest appreciation is for our students who have persevered and displayed a palpable joy for learning; their caregivers who have owned new challenges and responsibilities; the incomparable faculty and staff in the district; and the caring and courageous board of education. Together, we have wrestled through difficult decisions and kept our students as our focus. 

Pausch shares in his lecture an image that reminded me of the Bexley community I have witnessed this year. He says any brick walls in our path are not there to keep us out; rather they are there to show us how much we want what’s on the other side. With each hurdle this year, dedicated and passionate individuals in our city pushed through barriers.  

Nearly 100 community members volunteer their time and expertise on task forces that lead and guide the district through major decisions. Some have even become substitutes and are recruiting others to do the same, and others provide babysitting, transportation and at-home tutoring to partner with students and families. Each person’s sacrifice and gift knock down another wall. 

It’s clear to me that our community values and desires the highest quality education. It’s a priority that is honorable and to be celebrated. Our students deserve that, and I am grateful for each person in our community and on our staff that has harnessed their personal energy to demonstrate our collective commitment to do what is best for Bexley students. 

As we enter a new year, no doubt we will face new challenges. I remain optimistic and inspired by those in our city who put others first, especially our students. We have more work to do as a district and will continue to move forward with empathy, keep equity at the forefront and work toward more consistency with teachers and equal access and opportunities for all.