July 1, 2020
Dear Springfield Students, Families, Staff, and Community Members:
Today, I was honored to begin my work as your Superintendent of Schools. I am thankful to the Springfield Board of Education and the district leaders for graciously welcoming me to the district.
In February, I had the pleasure of visiting the schools and meeting district and school leaders and team members. It was wonderful to visit the classrooms and see students learning in warm and supportive schools. It is clear that Springfield is an extraordinary place, and I am excited to be a part of a district that nurtures and grows joyful learners.
As I begin my first days in Springfield, I am looking forward to working alongside a team of strong district and school leaders and I am humbled that you are entrusting the education of your children to our care. My mission, as an educator and leader, is to build and support programs and systems that develop curiosity, encourage courageous thoughts and actions, build connections between people and ideas, and celebrate the growth and learning of every Springfield student.
There is little doubt that this is a difficult time for a transition. Less than a month after my visit to the schools, COVID-19 began to threaten our community. Over four months later, this virus has impacted every facet of our lives. At the same time, our nation is grappling with issues relating to racism, justice, and equity. Together, we are actively confronting some of the most challenging economic and social conditions in the history of our country.
My husband and I are raising our three children, ages 7, 10, and 12, in nearby South
Orange. Over the last few months, our family navigated a maze of work and school
schedules. We cried in moments of fear and frustration. We mourned the losses faced by our friends and family members. We are navigating difficult and essential conversations about racism, the importance of listening to the experiences shared by our friends and neighbors of color, and what equity and equality mean to our family. Throughout it all, we have found beauty in small moments and have developed enormous gratitude for our family, the front-line workers who we depend on in so many ways, and the many people that make up our wonderful community.
I understand that I am entering the district at a time when there are many immediate questions and concerns for the coming year. Over the next month, I will be working closely with the central office team, school leaders, and community leaders to continue the work required to present the plan for our students’ return to instruction in September. The first step will be assembling a committee to develop the plan, followed by an extensive planning and review process, and finally communication of the plan. In addition, during my first weeks, I will work closely with Dr. Francis to finalize and communicate the plan to celebrate the Jonathan Dayton High School Class of 2020.
This summer and throughout the coming year, we will have to make difficult decisions based upon the guidance provided by the New Jersey Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control, and in consultation with local officials. We will always prioritize the health of our children, staff, and community as we work to develop the best options for our schools.
As I begin my work in Springfield, I am looking forward to meeting, listening to, and learning from each of you. I am most excited for opportunities to celebrate the amazing staff members, students, and families that make Springfield Public Schools a true community of learners.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, please do not hesitate to reach out and introduce yourself!
Superintendent of Schools