Guest Commentary

Lee’s Summit schools are ready to take on the future together

As we embark upon the first day of the 2019-2020 school year in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, we know there are many voices contributing to a big conversation in our community.

And so we are starting this year fully aware of where we are and where we need to go. We are excited to move forward into our year together with our students and families.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges before us as a school district — one of which being uniting in the commonality of working together. We must continue to strengthen relationships and take care of all our students — work we do each day in every corner of our schools. We have the ability to listen thoughtfully and to share with vulnerability. We are capable of both celebrating our successes and embracing challenging work with equal passion, united in our mission to prepare each student for success in life.

Our ability to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our students, staff and community has long been an important thread in the LSR7 story. At the same time we are gaining the ability to see and acknowledge that there is always room for improvement. That’s how we grow and learn — when we push through transition with grace. We have the ability to recover and move forward. We must do so with acknowledgment and patience. We have to give each other grace.

In our opening convocation remarks, we conveyed to our staff the following sentiment: On the cusp of a new school year, it is important to embrace a culture that honors both our personal and professional perspectives and our shared story. We all approach our lives and our professional service from our own voice. At the same time, all of our voices together can be so powerful. Our voices together make us who we are as a school district and community. We get to choose what we make here in LSR7. And we know that our responsibility to make experiences and futures for all our students is our most noble goal as adults working in schools.

So, on this morning, we want to honor what we get to make each day and honor our voice, the sound of all of us.

The sound of us all is embodied in students like Leah, Elaine and Gabby. How are we as a school district and community going to raise them up and send them off into this big world? Our choices reflect their success.

We have a story to tell. It’s one that will continue to evolve throughout this year and our years to come. That story will be one of challenge, growth and learning.

We are ready to write it together.

Kelly Wachel is executive director of public relations for Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.

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