As we approach the end of the 2021-2022 School Year, we can reflect on our resiliency and our “grit” as we have begun to return to “normal” practice. As I have visited around the state and have met with you every week on Zoom, I am encouraged to find that our best leadership traits are easily found in our day-to-day practice. I notice your resiliency in dealing with the myriad of challenges introduced through the COVID challenge, the calculated efforts you made in redeveloping your district’s practice, your encouragement and development of staff, the deployment challenges surrounding staffing, and the continued efforts you are making to ensure that your students are once again thriving.
Additionally, some of you have been struck by disasters such as raging fires and tragic community circumstances. Through these challenges, you have shown great leadership, cooperation, and resiliency. This is another way for us to recognize the quality and trustworthiness of your leadership. In fact, I believe it is time that we begin to encourage and insist on the recognition of the quality leadership of you, our public school leaders.
As we move forward into the 2022-23 School Year, I challenge us to get our message of trust in our local school leaders into our daily dialogue. To accomplish this, I am beginning a campaign, with your help, to reshape the political landscape in such a way as to recognize and honor the design, momentum, and implementation of practice of improvement of student learning and educational leadership at the local level. It is my opinion that for far too long, we have allowed our educational planning and implementation to be overtaken by state level players and allowed the local quality leadership to be diminished. I have realized that the best momentum for our students resides locally to the greatest extent possible.
To successfully move to more local control, planning and implementation raises certain local standards from where we have operated. For instance, it is imperative that we reverse the amount of turnover of our superintendents and local administrators and the disruption that changes of leadership creates. Among the focus we must assure is creating long standing trust and collaboration with our local boards of education. It is time that we mature our relationships and assure stability in our schools. It is time we repel the urge to “clean the slate and start over.” It is time for us, as school leaders, to recommit to the extensive work of assuring our students a world-class education here in New Mexico.
I am proud and honored to serve New Mexico with each of you. Best wishes for a great end to this school year!