First of all, I’d like to say thank you to the staff, students, parents, community members, and board of education for their support in my new role as 6-12 principal. It has been a smooth transition for me, and this is a direct result of the great people in our community and the staff who make up our tremendous school system.

Our mission at Maquoketa Valley is to ensure high levels of learning to empower our students for lifelong success. This is based upon the following vision:

A. Learning that is engaging, challenging, and focused.
B. Frequent feedback and purposeful assessment.
C. Timely response to student needs.
D. Shared responsibility for learning in a safe, respectful environment. E. Promotion of strong character and productive citizenship.

In this letter I’m going to focus on the promotion of strong character and productive citizenship. As a staff we work to teach students life-long skills that will lead them to be successful beyond the walls of our school. Please understand these characteristics are important inside and outside the classroom and are critical to becoming a productive citizen. We are currently collaborating as a staff to improve how we teach our students to develop the following characteristics:

Perseverance / Work Ethic:
Persevering is refusing to give up in the face of adversity, no matter how difficult the task. This characteristic is mentioned most frequently by the business world. Employers, for obvious reasons, are looking for people with a strong work ethic and who can persevere and problem solve when times get tough. At Maquoketa Valley our staff sets high expectations, and students are taught how to persevere and develop a work ethic in the classroom as well as through our extra-curricular offerings.

Responsibility:

Responsibility is keeping promises, meeting obligations, and being accountable for your actions. This characteristic is critical to develop in all aspects of life. We expect our students to come prepared and complete work on time, ask for help when needed, take care of their property as well as others’, and accept their mistakes. Our staff does a great job of setting high expectations and teaching students how to be responsible.

Respect:

Respect is being courteous to others through actions and words and treating others the way you want to be treated. At Maquoketa Valley our staff teaches students to accept decisions of those in authority, calmy share disagreements, thoughtfully look at and listen to others, use appropriate language, greet others, and take pride in themselves.

Troy Osterhaus