For Staff

August 5, 2019

Welcome Back,

As we begin the 2019-2020 school year I wanted to express my gratitude to all of our members of the support staff for their efforts to address all of the work that is necessary for our new school year to commence. Each and every summer the support staff members work diligently to prepare the three buildings and district grounds, register students, assisting new staff to navigate through the tedious hiring process, mail out notices, and process mounds of information. Thank you for all of your hard work!

I sincerely hope that you had a pleasurable time away from the daily grind.  Vacation is an important facet in our lives and we all need desperately to recharge and focus on the important things in life.  The summer is always busy here and preparation for the new school year tends to fly by rather quickly.

Obviously, we have had to say farewell to some colleagues and we are in the midst of welcoming some new staff members. I am looking forward to the contributions made by everyone, be it old friends or new acquaintances. Always try to be a supportive person in our school district, there are enough naysayers and antagonists on the outside and we do not need any from within our ranks. “If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing.”

Always remember that words matter! What we talk about reveals what we hold as important in our lives. We all need to go above and beyond a mission statement. Only by working together can we put thoughts and words into action.

There are obviously different outlooks and perceptions as we prepare for the 2019-2020 school year. We all have our own particular worries, concerns, and doubts. Some shifts in staffing have taken place and for some this transition maybe viewed in a negative fashion. Quite frankly, as I prepare for a new year I am constantly faced with the same emotions that you are feeling.

A major point of emphasis this year is Positive Relationships. If you have been here for a while you are aware of my feelings that I share annually with staff; so forgive me for saying this once again that one of my favorite quotes comes from Larry Bell, “even on our worst day we are some child’s best hope”.  It certainly goes without saying but as a public school we serve the masses not the classes.

When you take on the role as a PVSD employee you really have assumed a number of roles. Please understand that we are called to reach out and serve all of students regardless of the circumstances surrounding the children. We do not have the luxury of making excuses or taking the easy way out. We must strive for excellence and be champions and advocates for students.

I feel that building positive relationships is one of the most significant parts of our job as educators. It is hard work but it is rewarding. So I respectfully request that you adopt these simple ideas:

  • Provide a safe environment for all of our students. Our kids are facing multiple outside forces.
  • Student engagement and supporting all students. Be a shoulder for others to lean on.
  • Everyone is a remedial teacher. If at first they don’t succeed….
  • Scores still don’t complete our story and you can help to spread good news.
  • Be patient. Baby steps and encouragement.

Over the summer there has been some excitement and joy; perhaps some folks have married, perhaps some folks are celebrating the birth of a new child or perhaps some staff have purchased a new home. Please accept our congratulations.

If you have been suffering through some illness or surgery please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. There also have been instances of tragedy and loss. If you have lost a loved one we share in your grief and we are all here to lend a shoulder to cry on, a heart to listen with, and a hand of friendship and compassion. We are all here to help one another and we all are intricately bound together not only by a job or occupation but by love and respect.

As we prepare for the 2019-2020 school term the following information will be beneficial to you as we begin the new school term. The first day of school for our NEW teachers is Tuesday August 20, 2019 at 8:00 AM at the Panther Valley School District Central Office Board Room. Mentors are required to attend the morning session at 11:00 AM. They are then invited to join the new teachers and the rest of the staff for the summer luncheon at the Intermediate School.  New Teachers and Mentors are encouraged to register for the Teacher Induction Professional Development Cohort offered through CLIU #21 on August 15 & 16, 2019.  Check your panthervalley.org email for further instructions.

ALL TEACHERS are to report to the High School on Wednesday August 21, 2019 between 8:00 AM-8:30 AM for the first day of in-service activities. A full schedule of events for the day and Thursday August 22, 2019 is currently being planned. Once the agenda is finalized you will receive a copy.

I sincerely look forward to this new year and I promise to do my very best in providing a positive learning environment. 

 

Dennis R. Kergick