Welcome to Durham Unified School District!
Hello Tigers, Panthers and Trojans,
The 2017-18 school year is here!
It is my hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and shared many happy moments with loved ones and friends. My thanks to the colleagues who have welcomed me so warmly, sharing their hopes, goals, and extraordinary love for what they do! To say that I am deeply impressed is an understatement.
With your forbearance, I would like to preach to the choir for a moment, and express my admiration for everyone at Durham Unified…there is no other calling as noble or critical to we humans as educating and mentoring our society’s young. There is also nothing more fulfilling, intrinsically rewarding, challenging, sometimes frustrating and heart wrenching, and energy draining, than working in public education. From the many members of our support staff to the teachers in the classroom, this profession requires a uniquely high level of personal ownership, a mind-set of innovation, commitment, and plain hard work.
But, there is something more required of us in greater measure than in any other endeavor, and the reason I hold public school professionals in such high regard…it is having an inexhaustible supply of empathy and patience, leading to the willingness to teach and mentor those kids who struggle and often resist our efforts, tooth and nail. Those who are afraid to trust and risk, who mistakenly believe their “best” can’t get better, and come to us from a playing field that is so far from level, they’ve never been able to gain their footing.
Helping said kids requires that we expend tremendous effort at a greatly increased risk of them not being successful, at least initially…and when they aren’t, keeping our (and their) frustration at bay, adjusting what we do, going back and trying again as many times as it takes…because very often, we are all the struggling kids have. We’ve all seen it, whether new to the profession, or seasoned vets, and whether our charges are the wee-ones or those about to head out and start their adult life.
My dad taught high school for 41 years in the industrial arts area. The majority of his students were the kids who struggled, those from that steeply pitched playing field. He called working with these kids “Fighting the good fight…the only one that matters…because those are the lives you can really change.”
That “good fight” is shared by every person who sets foot on a public school campus, whether he or she works every day to provide a clean and safe facility and grounds, transports the kids, feeds them, coaches, works in one of the many support service areas, or stands up in front of the class. We are all in this together, and I am continually amazed at the effort, skill and dedication I see from my colleagues.This has been a busy summer in regard to staffing. Staff hired for this year includes some new faces as well as a couple of old faces in new roles. My thanks to the staff and community members who participated on the interview teams.
New certificated staff will begin on Thursday, August 10, 2017. Please come to the District Office at 8:30 am for a light breakfast and an orientation. In the afternoon there will be an opportunity to meet with your principal and to make final preparations for the opening of school.
You will get a chance to meet our new staff at the District breakfast which will be held on Tuesday, August 15th. Serving will begin at 8:15 am in the Durham Elementary School cafeteria.
Ten month classified staff will return Tuesday, August 15th.
See you soon,