Student success reminds us of our mission in 2020

I abhor shopping and I will do almost anything to avoid having to do it. However, it seems that each time I venture out to shop in Lincoln I come home with another heart-warming story from a Lincoln Public Schools student or alum.

Just recently I heard from a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bio-engineering major while she was working at SouthPointe Pavilions. She shared how wonderfully prepared she was to begin her freshman year at the university.

At Gateway Mall, a young lady spoke of the rich diversity represented at Lincoln High School and how, despite having moved here from another country, she always felt accepted socially and challenged academically.

Of course as expected, a middle school student attempted to bribe me with a cinnamon roll in exchange for the four snow days she believes I owe students each year. I found it humorous in light of the temperature being almost 60 degrees when she offered the bribe.

When you dedicate your life to education, these are the moments that define your work. LPS is full of incredible stories of young people, and staff, who are inspired by what they experience here and how they have grown. Together with an incredibly supportive community, committed parents and caring professionals, LPS cultivates outcomes that should make each and every one of us proud. All I have to do is go shopping in our community to have that reinforced.

With the first semester in the books, we turn to the work in front of us for the remainder of the school year. Of course, one big event occurs Feb. 11, when our community votes on the $290 million bond issue that seeks to address our immediate high school overcrowding with the addition of two high schools, an additional elementary school in the northeast part of Lincoln, provides infrastructure updates and/or additions at each middle school and invests significantly into maintaining our existing buildings – all of this within the existing tax levy.  Community input through the work of the High School Task Force and Superintendents Facility Advisory Committee was instrumental in helping the Board of Education prioritize the work represented in the first tier of the updated Ten Year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan.

I’ll close with another thank you to all of our awesome staff and community members who provide incredible support for our mission. I have stated on many occasions that I believe Lincoln is a very unique and exciting place to live, work and recreate because the community is so willing to help when needed.

Here’s to a great second half of the school year and to a productive and rewarding 2020.