First week of school symbolizes why we do what we do

Each year at this time, the anticipation increases for the beginning of another school year at Lincoln Public Schools.  While we educators would love to see the summers last longer, just like our students, we get energized when we think of that first day.

In my 33rd year as a superintendent (thank you Lincoln for the last 8, which have been wonderful), I still get excited when I think about visiting schools on that very first day.   From watching first-time moms dropping off their first-time kindergartners to hearing kids tell their classmates what they experienced in the summer, the first week of school symbolizes why we do what we do.

The last couple of weeks we welcomed to our team: 70 administrators in new positions and more than 400 new teachers. They were selected from competitive pools and much is expected from each of them. We strive to employ the best talent at LPS and to provide the training necessary to be successful in a rapidly growing school district.  We also know that teaching and leading isn’t easy but we are grateful for the supports that are available to coach and nurture our newcomers.

We also recently held our LPS Leadership Day for close to 300 school district leaders, gathering for conversation and inspiration. A highlight this year was having University of Nebraska-Lincoln Volleyball Coach John Cook speak about building a successful culture.   While we all know Coach Cook as an incredible competitor, we appreciated learning more about how he leads and builds capacity in his athletes and coaches.  Thank you, Coach Cook.

While student enrollment numbers are always fluid, we anticipate slightly lower student growth this year compared to recent years.  This is a welcome relief as we continue to see overcrowded conditions throughout our schools. I am looking forward to appointing a Community/LPS Facility Task Force later this fall to help us consider how LPS will address our more than 4,000-student growth in the last 5 years.   We will be seeking community members to serve on this Advisory Council.   If you have interest, contact our office via the “Contact” button on the website.

Meantime, in less than two weeks we again get the privilege of working with Lincoln’s most valuable residents: our children.   We are excited and also most appreciative of the trust you place in us and the support you provide.

Enjoy what is left of summer.