Focus on Excellence – Finish Strong!

May is upon us and we have just under 20 days of school remaining in the 2017-18 school year.  As I shared last year, when I served as building principal, our mantra during the month of May was “finish strong”!  Each and every day throughout the year, the staff in Waukee Community School District (WCSD) give 110% to be sure your children receive the best educational experience possible.  We are thankful that you, as parents, continue to support the efforts to finish strong ensuring that students come to school every day ready to learn through May 31.

May is also a month of ‘thank yous’ and ‘celebrations’.  Join me in thanking our teachers the week of May 7-11 which is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Tuesday, May 8 is designated as National Teacher Day.  Consider taking a few minutes to send a handwritten note, a quick email, or share a brief conversation to thank your child’s teachers for being a part of their educational journey.  Research supports that the biggest effect on student achievement is the teacher in the classroom. We will continue to work to hire the very best and support their continued professional growth.

In addition to teacher appreciation week, May is also School Board Recognition Month.  Board members are elected officials who choose to volunteer their time to attend meetings, respond to emails and phone calls, and attend many of the events throughout the district. We are truly blessed to have dedicated individuals who keep the focus on serving and meeting the needs of each and every student. Our Board continues to go ‘the extra mile’ to ensure that 1) our students are receiving a quality educational experience, 2) facilities are in place to support learning, and 3) advocate for students throughout the year.  Thank you to President Susan Bunz, Vice-President Wendy Liskey, Mary Scheve,  Ethan Huisman, Lori Lyon, David Cunningham and Jerry Ripperger.

Also, this month is Senior Award Night scheduled for May 16 in the Waukee High School (WHS) Auditorium. May 21 is the WHS Commencement at 7:00 p.m. at the Knapp Center on the Drake University campus. Please join us in celebrating and congratulating our senior class on this fine accomplishment!

Speaking of celebrations, we recently were notified that WCSD continues to have one of the highest graduation rates in the state of Iowa! Congratulations to our students, their families, staff, community and members of the WCSD Board of Education for nurturing a culture focused on supporting students.

Finally, as we wrap up another year I’d like to take a minute to thank the countless number of parents and community members who continued to reach out to me to share your gratitude, thoughts, questions and suggestions this past year. The relationship we enjoy with our families and community is one for which I am both proud and thankful.  Let’s finish the year strong – together!