Welcome back EP Bulldogs! I am tremendously proud and honored to introduce myself as the new Superintendent of East Palestine School District. I want to thank the numerous individuals in the community and on the staff at East Palestine for providing me with such a warm welcome since my arrival on July 1st.
Prior to applying for the position, I researched the district very closely; no stone was left unturned. Report card and trend data were analyzed, the five year forecast was reviewed, members of the community and staff were consulted, and the website was explored. It was when I stumbled upon the mission statement that I knew East Palestine was a place I wanted to be a part of - the promise that our staff and the community made to our students: “The mission of the EP School District is to provide an environment where excellence is expected and character nurtured.”
It was at that moment that I knew that EP has a tremendous amount to offer their students.
East Palestine’s mission statement addresses excellence and character. “Excellence” is important for numerous reasons. “Excellence” opens doors. “Excellence” sets individuals and teams apart on the field, in the arts, in the classroom, and in careers. “Excellence” distinguishes between those who possess superior skills or abilities and those who do not. “Excellence” requires passion, hard word, focus, determination, and drive. Vince Lombardi summarized “excellence” when he said, “…a man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” To me, that’s “excellence”.
What made EP’s mission statement different and what solidified my desire to be part of the EP team was that the mission statement also addressed “character”. “Character” is defined as the “mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”. “Character” can be lost in pursuit of “excellence” if we focus more on the what (excellence) than on the who (students/character). “Excellence” and “character” shouldn’t be exclusive of one another; in fact, I believe that excellence is a bi-product of nurtured character. When I read the EP mission statement, it was evident that our staff and our community value the individual, and therefore, we can expect great things to come. Educating our youth requires a team of individuals to work together as we share the enormous responsibility of preparing children for bright futures. The work is incredibly rewarding as we see these youngsters grow and develop into productive, independent individuals who reach their potentials - right before our eyes!
Whether we are parents, students, staff, or community members, we begin each school year with a sense of anticipation, enthusiasm, and optimism for our next generation. I look eagerly toward the upcoming year and working with all stakeholders to uphold our mission.