On June 26, 2018, the KCK board of education selected Dr. Charles Foust for our next superintendent of schools. I am grateful to all the articulate, engaged and impassioned people who spoke at recent board meetings, listening meetings and the two meet-and-greet events and to those who wrote to the board so that they clearly knew the community priorities. I also appreciate Brenda Jones and Janey Humphries, two board members who showed they were listening by their votes on the next superintendent. But I believe the other five board members heard the community view, too, and I hope that with Dr. Foust these five find a way to clearly state their vision for building our school district in a positive direction that incorporates the ideas shared by the public.
We have stated over and over the fact that KCK is one of the most diverse communities in the country. Now Dr. Foust’s arrival gives us a highly visible chance to showcase the strengths that come from that diversity. Though he would not have been my first choice, it is up to us the citizens, parents, teachers, businesses to show him how we welcome people who are new, people with different ideas and life experiences. It is up to us to get Dr. Foust on board with the best in KCK schools and to allow him to get us on board with the initiatives he would like to weave into the fabric of our schools.
One of the hallmarks of an effective school board is a collaborative relationship with staff and the community. We have to do our part. I believe a hopeful attitude and continued engagement are our best chance to avoid the devastating experience of the Kansas City, Missouri public schools over the last 20 years. Actually, KCMO is on the upswing, so hopefully Dr. Foust will reach out to them and other neighboring districts to build mutually beneficial professional relationships. Perhaps that would help us avoid some of the pitfalls that came with the upheaval in KCMO.
I must also note continued admiration for Dr. Strickland. He stepped up to go through a very difficult application process in the very place where he works, and he did it with grace and respect. He continues to be a positive role model for our students, showing what this district can produce. No matter what, I am confident that he will do all he can to assure a smooth transition and to continue doing his best for KCK public schools. Thank you, Dr. Strickland.
This Blog is being generated by a group of citizens invited by USD 500 to participate as a Citizen's Advisory Committee during the Bond Issue campaign. This group continues to be involved in supporting USD 500 and watching the results from the successful Bond election. This Blog is best read from the bottom/oldest post to the to/newest post.