Keith Dixon: Growth will continue under new superintendentForty-two years ago I dedicated myself to public education.
By: Keith Dixon, Budgeteer News
Forty-two years ago I dedicated myself to public education. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Educating children and providing leadership toward that purpose is important and incredibly satisfying work.
The opportunities are boundless for an educator — whether teacher or administrator — to make a real difference. I’ve enjoyed my career, and especially the past six years working for students and families in Duluth.
My contract expires June 30, 2011, at which time I will retire. It’s time to expand my horizons beyond the field of education and focus on personal goals and interests that I’ve placed on the back burner for many years. More importantly, I want to spend more time with my wife, children and grandchildren.
The district’s human resources department will begin working with the Duluth School Board to develop and implement a superintendent search process. The goal is to identify a new superintendent by spring.
We’ve made remarkable strides as a district by bringing together leadership from within our organization to solve problems and implement change.
We’ve worked together on strategies to help close the achievement gap, address rising health insurance costs, improve our buildings and reduce administrative costs.
We’ve improved the overall culture of the district by building internal and external relationships, partnering with the city, higher education, parent-teacher associations, local business and unions.
That work will go on, whether I’m here or not. Understand that I didn’t come to Duluth with any specific vision or plan.
Instead, I worked with leaders inside and outside the organization to identify what needed to be done and devise a strategy to get there. That process will continue because many other people, especially our young leaders, understand the process and own it.
I’d like to share my heartfelt thanks to all who made it possible to create positive change. Schools and school districts can’t do it alone. It takes wise advice and strong support from many people to get the job done. In that regard, I’ve been richly blessed.
That especially applies to my staff and our teachers, who have been asked to deal with some very complex issues over the past six years.
They have been professional, encouraging and, most of all, incredibly dedicated. They have done great work, and I appreciate their effort.
I’d also like to recognize our school board members, both past and present, who had the courage to make tough but thoughtful decisions regarding budgets, facilities and changes to our curriculum, to the benefit of our students and community. It’s been a pleasure to serve under their leadership.
I look forward to continuing to work with you through the end of the school year. Thank you for everything you do to improve our schools and educational programs.
Keith Dixon is the superintendent of Duluth Public Schools. Contact him at 336-8752 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.