Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT SUMMER FINAL COMPLETE -E

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sp tlight Grand Haven Area Public Schools Vol. 27 No. 4 I n past years, I have utilized this opportunity to highlight the incredible successes for the year. These successes most often have included our high achievement levels, third party recognition from US News and World Reports, Bridge Magazine, or the state; honors for our arts programs, Science Olympiad, Bucs Blade, athletics, and the list goes on and on. But since this edition of Spotlight is my final as your superintendent, I prefer to share my personal experiences witnessing the incredible dedication and success throughout this district. To begin, I recall shortly after being named your Interim Superintendent in 2005, be- ing faced with the challenge of having to relocate Ferry School to allow for mold remediation. After initially dealing with the shock, we immediately went to work lay- ing out a plan. What occurred in the next several months was nothing short of a mira- cle. Students were relocated to a recently sold elementary building, staff jumped in to help students feel at ease with the move, drivers redesigned bus routes, operations staff worked feverishly along with numerous volunteers to make the move. In the end we held a grand re-opening of Ferry School; pulling off what many doubted could be done. Classroom visits have always been the highlight of my week, which most frequently led to inquisitive questions about what a superintendent does. Also, I will never forget the many concerts, theatre productions, athletic events, and Science Olympiad and First Robotics competitions that I attended. I always left with an incredible feeling of pride and amazement of what our students had accom- plished. Most incredible is that this success happens year after year. Road checks at 4:00 a.m. during the winter were not necessarily a highlight, but there were many, and often these decisions were especial- ly tough to make. Our con- versations were very serious, and ultimately, decisions were centered on student safety. I cannot help but also reflect on two very critical bond campaigns for this district. The first being in 2009, when we were deep into the great recession. With help and support from every corner of this district and community, together we not only passed one, but both proposals by sound margins. In 2014, a very similar prediction was made as we moved a ten-year plan forward to help support capital expenditures and one on one technology. Again, passage by sizable margins, thanks to our community, will ensure the resources to support student learning in the future. Regardless of the staff or student need, I have wit- nessed incredible support and response to crisis, whether that be the loss or injury to a student or colleague. The genuine caring and concern has always been evident, and makes me proud. Finally, it continues to be my belief that to experience true success with students, staff, parents and communi- ty, relationships have to be a first priority. It is my hope that any legacy attached to my service to this district and community includes just that. Continue to follow your heart in support of our students. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of leading this incredible district for the past ten years! by Keith Konarska R E F L E C T I O N S O F O U R S U C C E S S

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