- East St. Louis School District 189
Committed to Excellence - August 2017
Committed to Excellence - August 24, 2017
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. – Steve Jobs
We are blessed to be chosen to work with our community’s most precious resource, our children. They depend on us to provide them with a high-quality education in spite of every adversity we face. For children, education is the gateway to opportunity, the pathway to the future and their ticket to the middle class.
When students become challenging, remember to see them as the future doctors, lawyers and teachers that they someday may become. We can think about developing children like one would mine for gold. When you go into a gold mine, you will remove tons of dirt just to find an ounce of gold. But you don’t go in looking for the dirt; you go in looking for the gold. You find what you look for. Each of our children has gold inside of them. They were born to win, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.
The school year is off to a great start. Thank you for your perseverance in working through the first week challenges, making sure students feel welcome and providing high-quality instruction from day one.
After visiting each campus, it is clear students are excited to be back in school and eager to learn. I also observed motivated and enthusiastic staff members performing their duties in a high-quality manner. My observations confirmed that our staff is overwhelmingly Committed to Excellence. Here are a few highlights of the great work already being conducted:
- Time was devoted in the first two days to build a positive culture and establish classroom expectations and norms;
- All math classrooms have been staffed with math teachers (hard to fill area);
- Teachers are using newly updated curriculum documents and resources to guide their planning and lessons;
- One campus is building out a Comfort Room to help soothe students dealing with trauma and stress;
- 158 classroom walk-throughs were conducted by school administrators within the first two days of school across the district.
We know there have also been some obstacles this first week. We will be faced with new challenges daily. This is what makes our jobs so exciting! No day will ever be the same as the last. Remember that opportunities are often disguised as problems. We are working to positively change individual lives and although it won’t be easy, it is rewarding. You choose how to respond to a challenge - to use it as a stepping-stone or as a stopping-stone, a detour or a dead-end street.
It is imperative that each of us diligently strives for excellence daily. Please shed whatever is distracting you from embracing an excellence mindset. If you are not totally Committed to Excellence, you will not be able to conquer the challenges and obstacles on the road to excellence. Remember, the process comes before the promise (excellence). If your vision of excellence is crystal clear and strong, you will discover that the provisions needed to attain excellence are within your grasp.
We are built to achieve excellence. Therefore, expect excellence, believe in excellence, make excellence your standard not your goal, and know that excellence and greatness are your destiny. Do not be discouraged by the potholes you will encounter on the road to your destiny! Forsake your comfort zone to attain your destiny; excellence requires successfully managing discomfort. How you confront obstacles will determine how your excellence journey will end!
We opened the school year with a calling to be Committed to Excellence. I invite you to watch this inspiring video to hear more about being a goal-achiever and about making a decision to commit to something fully. Click here to view the video.
Thank you for your Commitment to Excellence. Let’s continue the journey of excellence together.
Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent