As most of you are aware, I have submitted my letter of resignation to our Board of Directors that will be effective June 30th of this year.  It is with mixed emotions that this letter was submitted.  I am truly grateful for the opportunity that I have had to be a part of our District the past 15 years. 

What makes this decision so difficult is that I have been extremely fortunate to work for an outstanding Board that truly understands that our mission is to do what is best for our kids.  President Kunde went out on a limb 14-plus years ago to allow me this opportunity, and Director Zietlow has been a great mentor as I dove into this work.  I will forever be indebted to them for this.  I have had the opportunity to work with teachers and staff members that are passionate about their craft and the overall well-being of our children.  Finally, I have been blessed to be surrounded by the best administrative team in the state, beginning with Mrs. Morrison, Ms. Swinton, Mrs. Kramer and Mr. Gatto and now with Mrs. Norton, Mrs. Becker, Ms. Imler and Mr. Osterhaus. I appreciate their loyalty, their open-mindedness, and their patience over the years working with me.

There is a quote from Charles Kettering that I believe is apropos to this resignation.  “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”  I am extremely proud of what has been accomplished at MV under our collective leadership the past 15 years.  I look at what we have accomplished with our student achievement; we have state assessment scores that are some of the highest in Iowa. Our facilities are impeccable, and we have upgraded all the technology for our students over the past 10 years.  We have implemented emotional, social and physical supports to meet the needs of our children. On the financial side, we have one of the lowest school levy rates in the area and very stable financially.  I am proud of the partnerships we have formed and the additional opportunities we have developed and continue to provide for our children. This includes the Dollars for Scholars Program, our Academic Excellence Recognition Banquet, our activities department and fine arts programs.  I am also proud of the school relationships that we have established not only throughout our community but throughout the state.  Yet I firmly believe that for our district to continue to move forward, and to be a better and stronger place for all of our children, as well as to continue to be at the forefront in education, we need new and fresh ideas.  We owe this to our children. I believe the time is right for change.  Our district is strong in all aspects, and this will give the next superintendent an opportunity to build on what we have started.

Some may believe that the grass is greener on the other side of the hill, but I would argue that when it comes to Maquoketa Valley, this is a great side of the hill to be on.  Reflecting on my 38 years in education, I can assure you that our teachers, administrators and support staff are second to none.  Our Board of Directors focuses on policy implementation and not micro-management, and the vast majority of our parents and school community support and appreciate the work that all Maquoketa Valley employees do for all of our children and young adults.  I sincerely hope that our school community does not take this for granted because there are few districts throughout this state that have a school culture that compares to Maquoketa Valley’s.  So, I encourage you to occasionally take the time to thank these individuals for the work that they do!!

By the time this article is printed, our school board will be knee deep in the process of selecting our next superintendent.  Ray and Associates has been hired to help our Directors with this rigorous process.  The position has been posted and applications will be accepted until the first week in March.  In early March, the Directors will go through the process of inviting a select group of candidates to our district to be interviewed by not only the Board, but our administrative team, and a select group of instructors, staff members, and community members.  By late March, interviews will be held, and in early April we are hoping that we will have secured a new superintendent.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this great district.  We are MV STRONG!