Superintendent Message (English)

I am amazed that I am writing my last School Scene message of the 2017-18 school year. It has been just over a year since I accepted the position as superintendent and I am shocked how fast time has passed. Much has been accomplished this year. After our school board hired me, I began spending time in our schools, meeting many of you, and becoming more familiar with our district. I have been nothing short of impressed!

We have two incredibly engaged boards that care deeply about our students and schools.  Our School Board is well informed and curious. They focus on policies and strategy as well as sound budget planning to best meet the needs of our students while representing the community, voters, and taxpayers. They understand the balance that is needed to support our schools while also being fiscally responsible in these ongoing times of constrained public budgets. I feel so fortunate to work with such a thoughtful group of leaders. 

Our ABC Dayton Education Foundation Board of community and staff members cares deeply about our students and staff.  The foundation raises many thousands of dollars to support students both directly (through college scholarships) and indirectly (through classroom grants and other funding initiatives). This group of super dedicated volunteers give hundreds of hours of time to make this all happen.  This past weekend the foundation held the annual dinner and auction.  It was well attended and raised thousands of dollars. Approximately $4,000 was raised for library books in just the paddle raise part of the auction. Thank you to all of the community members who came out to support our foundation, our schools, and our kids! Our schools wouldn’t be what they are without this group of committed volunteers!

We have perhaps the finest staff of professionals serving our students. I have witnessed such incredible drive to provide the very best education to our kids.  Our teachers and instructional support staff provide top-notch instruction and learning opportunities. Our educational leaders support and lead both staff and students to be the very best they can be. Our support staff keep things running smoothly and do so many countless, and often unseen, tasks that allow this organization to run. I am humbled to work among such fabulous educators. One such person deserves a special shout out.

Jan Bunn has served the Dayton School District for the past 25 years and will be retiring at the end of this school year.  During her time as Deputy Clerk and Business Director, she has supported the organization through many good times and some very challenging. She has had a keen eye for keeping the district on track fiscally, even during some very difficult economic downturns.  She understands what our schools and our school district need and has been involved with many aspects of the organization and community. She was instrumental in facilitating the financial and operational processes to improve our system and has always kept a balanced and clean budget. Truthfully, I don’t have nearly the right words or the space here to fully convey to you all of the contributions Mrs. Bunn has made to this community and school district. Like I said of our school board earlier in this piece, Jan Bunn has a strong sense of civic duty and is always balanced in making sure that we are doing right by our students and right by our budget and tax payers. Not always an easy thing to do. I am honored to have worked with her this past year, I have learned so much from her, and only wish that I could work with her longer. That said, Jan has much planned for her retirement… family to spend time with, traveling to do with her husband Ben, and evenings spent relaxing that don’t include Excel Spreadsheets. Jan, thank you for your service. You are a gift to our community and your contributions will live on for many years in all of the people that you’ve served.

I will finish with a few updates. There really are so many productive things happening.

  • Our board and staff are working together to draft a long range strategic plan that will help us keep focused on what matters most- our students.
  • We also met recently to conduct our first District Facilities Advisory Committee. There were 23 people there including myself… 20 of the 23 people are voting, tax paying members of the Dayton community. We discussed the purpose and timeline and Henry Fitzgibbon from Soderstrom Architects presented information about design considerations and some preliminary information from our district facilities assessment. We discussed a couple of example projects and kicked off a discussion that will carry us into September of this year, preparing us to write a state-wide grant for matching facilities funds if we pass a future capital improvement bond. All of this long-range planning, combined with our strategic planning will help us create a scope of potential projects to improve our school facilities for our students.
  • Our schools are in the midst of finishing the year strong as well as doing scheduling and planning for the next year.
  • Finally, we are wrapping up the process of hiring a new Deputy Clerk/Director of Business Services. Please see the announcement inside this issue.

As always, please let me know what thoughts and questions you have. I am here to serve you and look forward to starting a super productive second year.

 

Best,

Jason Hay