A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week marks the seventh week of our third quarter. As our nation continues to face multiple pandemics and political uncertainties, our students, staff, families, and community are leaning forward together. Their triumphs as well as every day strivings provide inspiration as we work to craft a new reality.
As our nation continues to struggle with COVID-19, racial injustice, staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions, and global political uncertainties, the particular challenges faced in our state and community have recently been highlighted. One of the things which make this moment in our community’s history special is how our students, families, staff, and community members are embracing the opportunity to change this narrative by simultaneously pushing towards equity and excellence. An example of this push was evident during Monday’s Instruction Work Group meeting where school board members and district leaders interrogated data, policies, and practices during a discussion about refining our district’s academic plan.
As we refine our academic plan and engage in the work of recalibration our strategic plan, it is useful to reflect on where we are, where we are going, and how we can get there. This reflection is certainly illuminated by our current stories of success and daily resilience. Our students’ co-curricular successes demonstrate the unlimited potential of our MMSD scholars: Samaria Ownby (La Follette High) winning the state title for floor exercise in Girls Gymnastics; Smith Connor (East High) being named Big 8 Boys Swimmer of the Year. Our staff's accomplishments, such as Jack Englehardt (West High) being named Big 8 Boys Swimming Co-Coach of the Year, provide evidence of our staff’s ability to build nurturing relationships with our students, which can inspire them to new heights. Finally, our students’ daily academic strivings demonstrate their dedication and resilience: 11th grade students throughout the district took the ACT exam on Tuesday; students at Cherokee Heights Middle School recently published student novels, which will be added to the Student Author section of the school library.
As we reflect on our challenges, strivings, and successes, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate your leadership as well as ongoing support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress next week.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.