Proud to be NFV
Proud to be NFV
I just finished my opening day remarks to staff of both North Fayette and Valley Community schools. What a great group, although that wasn’t my first impression. It was a bit of a reality check. My first impression was WOW, the day is here, what will happen now? Over 200 employees, covering all the varied tasks we find necessary in the school year, with a broad a range of interests and skills. How will we get them all focused on what’s best for the students of North Fayette and Valley? Their summer has been daunting. Well over half of the teachers have changed classrooms, or buildings, or even districts that they work in. Approximately 40% of the group was there to get to know their new Superintendent. Many have different job assignments or additional duties. Some weren’t here, had retired, moved on or suffered the fate known as a RIF, a reduction in force. I need to make this group into one team, with a common focus. The NF Hawk and the Valley Tiger, coming together to make the NFV TigerHawks.
When all were gathered in the cafeteria for breakfast it was great to have such a large and vibrant group assembled for the morning. Mostly conversation was between co-workers for each district, but some old friends or family members were happily catching up. We opened the program with a pep talk by Kid President, (one of those YouTube kids who are wise beyond their years) and then broke into small groups for a little get to know you conversation. It was soon evident that this group was becoming one. Or maybe they had already made this connection. After all, the teachers were together twice last spring, many worked on their curriculum together during the summer. Others had worked on planning committees last winter. They’ve sat through public hearings and lengthy board meetings together. Custodians and coaches had been hauling equipment and gear back and forth. The 11 miles between the districts had definitely become much shorter than it had always seemed.
In the end, we shared our Joint Core Values statements and discussed what it was going to take to be successful. I laid out my expectations of them for the coming year, “Create the Success” was the chosen tagline. North Fayette Valley was born out of the concern for what’s best for our students. It is now our responsibility to carry out the plan. The potential for success is there, its up to us, the teachers, associates, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers and cooks to make that happen now. The kids seem to be getting along fine in their team practices and other joint activities so far. The research shows us how to create success; set high expectations, form personal relationships, plan to serve low performing students, be consistent and aligned, and have a focus on student achievement. We can create success if we follow these guidelines. We need to create success. The kids are counting on it, because they cannot move up in the world without us.
We are proud to be NVF, and we hope you are too. As this year goes on and the relationships grow, our partnership will get stronger. The employees I met with today are a great group. They are dedicated, hard working conscientious workers. I think of all of them as educators, because no matter the job, they are role models and many little eyes and ears will be upon them. I am more excited about this partnership now than I’ve been all summer. As always if you have questions or comments, stop in, call or send an email. Good Luck to all North Fayette Valley TigerHawks in all their endeavors.
Superintendent Duane Willhite