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Dear Westminster Community,
I have always believed that a good leader listens … and encourages others to become leaders as well.
I call it Leadership at All Levels.
I’m reflecting on that right now because Tuesday I held my final meetings with the Superintendent Support Cabinet and the Teacher Leadership Cabinet. Last week I met with the Student Leadership Cabinet.
During my time as superintendent, these cabinet meetings have been incredibly valuable to me because they allow me to hear directly from staff and students without any filters. I have always gotten it straight. As a leader it is so important to know what people are thinking and saying.
I always tell team members, “Ask me anything and if I can tell you I will, and if I can’t, I’ll tell you that too.”
Over the years, some of the conversations have been about tough subjects like poverty and school security; other times it is inspiring stories about the power of education and the joy of learning.
And sometimes it is just fun. For example, at this week’s meeting with the support staff, I was informed that Orchard Park Academy hatched a baby chick named Angel and the kids are ecstatic. I have included a couple of pictures for you.
These cabinets have not only served me well, but the entire district too. This process has given a voice to employees at all levels and encourages two-way conversations. I have seen people take up leadership roles as they have advocated for their issues and ideas.
Looking down the road, Dr. Jeni Gotto tells me she plans to continue with the Superintendent Cabinets when she becomes superintendent. However, because I am such a proponent of continuous improvement, I have asked cabinet members to share their thoughts and ideas with Dr. Gotto about how we can make this process even better.
I am really proud of the work we have done in these cabinet meetings and I am so pleased it will continue.
Kindest regards,
Dr. Pamela Swanson Superintendent of Schools