Superintendent celebrates Roselle teachers

By Melissa Kaczkowski
Inside District 12
Posted5/10/2017 12:44 PM

It is hard to believe we are quickly approaching the end of the 2016-17 school year.

This year in particular seems to have gone by in a flash. Instead of waiting until later to send out our accomplishments and celebrations, I thought it would be a nice to give thanks now.


May 1-5 marked Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States, and in Roselle Elementary District 12, our Parent Teacher Organization does a fantastic job of celebrating and thanking our staff members with treats, small gifts and other gestures of gratitude.

I would like to take this opportunity to share why I personally would like to thank our teachers and staff. I get to see things from the inside out, which may give everyone a very different perspective.

First, I am thankful for their resiliency.

Nan Henderson, a social sciences researcher, defines resiliency as, "the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds -- trauma, tragedy, personal crises, plain ol' life problems -- and bounce back stronger, wiser and more personally powerful."

I would challenge our readers to find another district that has taken a more aggressive approach to organizational improvement. In three short years, we have:

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• Revamped our curriculum in math, science and English/language arts.

• Retooled our systems of supports and interventions for students, both in academics and behavior/social emotional development.

• Implemented a one-to-one technology roll out in grades one through eight.

While this all sounds very exciting, the truth of the matter is that it comes with a significant amount of stress -- to both the organization and our staff.

We have asked our teachers to learn an incredible amount of new information, new instructional strategies and practices and new educational philosophies. We have asked them to do this on top of the work they do with and for our students every single day.

We have created committees to give teachers a voice and a role in decision making. It is crucial they be at the table when we make decisions and plan our next steps on our path to excellence.


However, the reality of this means they have to create sub plans and do a significant amount of work every time we ask them to meet. They do not take their responsibilities lightly and they worry about the impact on students when they are gone from their classrooms.

Our classified staff members serve as the glue that holds us together. When we pull teachers out for professional development and curriculum work, our classified staff members are there to "hold down the fort," which is no easy task.

Every single day, they make sure our students are learning. They also make sure they are safe, healthy, happy, cared for and nurtured.

Daily, I see staff members overcome the challenges that come with organizational improvement and bounce back stronger, wiser and more powerful in their commitment to educate students.

For all of this, I say a genuine and heartfelt thank you!

• Melissa Kaczkowski is superintendent of Roselle Elementary District 12. Her column appears monthly during the school year in Neighbor.

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