Incoming West Bend School District Superintendent Erik Olson (phot0) penned a letter that went out today welcoming families, students and staff. Olson succeeds former superintendent Ted Neitzke.
“As summer is oftentimes rejuvenating, I hope this letter finds you and yours healthy and well! It was my honor to personally welcome new and existing families back to school on Thursday, September 1, 2016.
My family and I are excited to be residents of the West Bend School District! We recently moved into a house in West Bend and we are happy to be in this welcoming community. As parents of four children, my wife Lisa and I are delighted for our kids to be a part of such an awesome system. Sam is in seventh grade at Badger Middle School, Josh is in sixth grade at Silverbrook Intermediate School, Lexi is in fourth grade at McLane Elementary School, and my youngest, Ben, has started Kindergarten at McLane Elementary School. With four school-aged children of my own, I have great interest in providing the best learning experiences for all our children.
I have been an educator all of my life, beginning as a reading teacher and specialist. I next taught middle-level students mathematics, social studies, and literacy. Over time, I served as an adjunct professor, associate principal, a principal, a director of assessment and continuous improvement, and an assistant superintendent for operations. As your Superintendent, I want to learn about the families in our district and questions you may have.
Please be assured that relating to parents, staff, and the community is of paramount importance to me and I am already learning as much as I can. Over the last two months, I have been learning about this amazing school district and community by visiting summer school sites and students, meeting school staff, meeting board members and administrators, visiting with local community leaders, and learning about our school district. Everyone has been wonderfully supportive.
This vibrant community has embraced me with kindness and your focus on engaging our students is invigorating to me. As I talked to board, staff, and community members, I could immediately tell that everyone is truly working toward “excellence for all!” I saw people “living out” this message in their actions, relationships, and commitments. I saw children enjoying their summer school programs by creatively participating in art, music, gardening, and science experiments, among other activities. I cannot emphasize enough how inspiring it was to see this happening!
Now that the school year has started, one of my top priorities is to schedule time to visit with staff and meet the students and families at each school. Additionally, I will be scheduling time to meet with community members. I want to understand the strengths and opportunities for improvement within the West Bend School District, what you’d like the district to be known for in five years, and what indicators would signal I am off to a strong start as your superintendent. Your input will help us to create a strong partnership as we educate and prepare our students for college readiness and career success. I eagerly await conversing with all of you in the upcoming months!
As you start the school year, you can find information on the District’s website: http://www.west-bend.k12.wi.us, and if you have any initial questions or concerns, please reach out to the principal of your child’s school. Please consider following me on my Facebook page and on Twitter @ Erik_Olson_WB. I look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks and months!