Superintendent’s Weekly Check-in, August 17

Superintendent Matthew HaasDear Colleagues:

A thought for next week: “I’ve always loved the first day of school better than the last day of school. Firsts are best because they are beginnings.” — Jenny Han

Good Friday morning!

When I think back to Tuesday and the beautiful sight of all our teachers together in the Monticello gym, I can only be overwhelmed. What a journey it is to become a teacher, a person so important to so many. Teachers, you were called to be what you are, and you made yourself into who you are through your decision to learn and gain the credentials to teach, shape lives, and help children better than anyone else can. Nearly 1,300 incredible ACPS teachers together in one place is just phenomenal.

As you get ready for next Wednesday, I hope I encouraged you at least a little when I said that all of you are the absolute right people for your job, and you were put on this planet to do one thing: be a great teacher! You are all highly qualified, you know what you are doing, and you are—whether you are sure or not—ready to go!

On Wednesday this week, I had lunch with Kelvin Reid and the Extended Day Enrichment Programs (EDEP) staff over at COB on 5th Street. I got to sit and talk with Sheila Avery, Paula Brown, and Lindella Durrette. I’m so proud of these educators and all of Kelvin’s team for their professionalism in providing enrichment and fun for students after school. Meg Franco and I played a version of the $25,000 Pyramid (Remember the game show with Dick Clark?), and we won, but Kelvin said the check is in the mail …

I also had a great time Wednesday evening over at Southwood with hundreds of families, educators, and support staff from Monticello, Cale and Burley, and representatives from our county service providers, Walmart, and the police and fire departments! The Southwood Back-to-School Night was planned by community members with assistance from Gloria Rockhold in our Office of Community Engagement. I loved seeing the neighborhood’s children smiling as they met up with their teachers and principals!

One final note: School bus drivers are the most highly-trained, tested and scrutinized drivers on the road. They are trained specifically for transporting children to and from school. School bus drivers have the ever-important job of protecting children, and ACPS bus drivers are K-12 educators. Many of our drivers work with our students through their entire 13 years of school!

Just checking in,


Matthew S. Haas, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Your mission and my mission every day is to establish a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time.