January 18, 2021
Dear Springfield Public Schools Community:
Today, our nation celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Since his death fifty-two years ago, his name serves a symbol and a call to action, reminding us that our choices have an impact extending far beyond each individual.
“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” As we think of the incredible challenges our country has faced over the last ten months, Dr. King’s words echo in my head. There is an enormous amount of work ahead, from healing the country’s deep political divisions to emerging from a global pandemic. We know that the days and months ahead may not be smooth, but these words serve as a reminder that together we can keep moving forward.
“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and soul generated by love.” Throughout this last year, I am continually reminded of the goodness and grace that is present around us. In our schools, this is most visible by the folks who push through the fear and the unknown to keep our schools moving. Our buildings and custodial staff who make a safe environment, our secretaries who help us to navigate the systems, our teachers and faculty members who rise above the constant challenges to provide opportunities for learning in difficult circumstances, and our school leaders who work to support every member of the school community. Every day, I am a witness to the grace and love of our community.
As we look toward brighter days ahead, we will remember Dr. King’s dream as a guide as we work to progress toward an educational system framed in equity. Over the next month, we will be reaching out to our community to provide us with feedback as we set a new vision and mission that represents all of our beliefs and expectations, and honors our diverse learning community.
If you have a few minutes, please check out Dr. Francis’ reflection on Dr. King and service to our community. You can find it here: https://youtu.be/0gXEhIZBuPI.
Today, I hope that you and your family find a few moments to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and commit to continuing to share grace and love as we work to move forward.
Superintendent of Schools