The first day of school never fails to excite me. The kids in the halls, the parents waving at street corners or from cars as they drop off kids, the new backpacks and shiny tennis shoes. I love it all. Isn’t it so awesome the new year is here? Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year.
It’s a huge honor to be serving as the superintendent. I’ve learned this summer that while many people know who I am, it’s important to make sure I am accessible to all. I want people to know the real Renee and what I’m about. I know it won’t necessarily matter what I say, it will be my actions and connections that matter. However, it’s important for me to let everyone know who I am and what I’m about.
What matters to me is family. Not just my own, but my SA-NB family. This sense of loyalty and commitment is deeply rooted in my own family. I was raised in a large, loud, loving Italian family. I’m the youngest of four- and the first three were boys. Some have joked I was raised by a pack of wolves, and those brothers are everything to me. Our mom, Marion, is the classic Italian grandmother. She is happiest when she’s feeding all of us and our families- there are 19 of us now. She still calls us to remind us to wear our jackets when she sees that it’s going to be chilly in the various places we live. Marion taught us that family is love and that love is a verb. This is essential to understanding how I see my SA-NB family. I’m not afraid to say I lead with my heart and all of the loyalty and commitment that comes from it.
I’m also purpose-driven, and I’ve had the same purpose throughout my 20 year career as an educator. I educate with determination and commitment to create ethical, educated, and engaged citizens committed to justice. These aren’t just words to me. They guide me through all decisions and all opportunities. It’s also important to me to tell you how I intend to go about living out this purpose as your superintendent. There are a few key qualities that you can expect from me. In fact, I hope you hold me accountable to them if you ever wonder or question the ways in which I’m going about serving this district:
I intend to serve with transparency and trust– I am open and straightforward. You can count on my honest reaction to concerns, issues and/or questions. Partnership and collaboration are my go-to. I am open to all ideas and will work to hear from many when making a decision. I have a great deal of drive and energy– I work hard. It is not my nature to be idle. I will work passionately to ensure success for SA-NB schools. I will serve with integrity- I keep my promises, I do not cover up bad news, I take responsibility and I place the needs of SA-NB schools over personal gain. You can expect flexibility and change– I accept challenge and I want to be challenged. I see this desire as the key to collaboration and growth.
I’ll try to be in touch on a consistent basis. Soon, I look forward to telling you about some of the foundational work we started this summer. With a bunch of our district’s leaders, we dove into the district’s current mission, vision, and values and made connections to how they inspire us to deliver high-quality, in-depth learning at SA-NB. Stay tuned. It’s going to be great doing this work with you!
– Thanks, Renee