Dr. Sue Davis
Danville Public Schools Superintendent
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Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities
Regardless of age, most people have fond memories of a new school year. All of the excitement involved with clothes, shoes, book bags, and school supplies starts early in the summer as students wonder about their teachers, friends, and changes that might be revealed on the first day back. On the surface, schools still look and function the same, as they have for many, many years.
However, Danville Public Schools, as a school division, is accountable for preparing our children to succeed in a 21st century environment that in many ways bears little reemblance to the past. The critical need to inspire and motivate students involves passion, determination, and expertise, along with high expectations. Great educators find a way to transcend the nuts and bolts of “school” by delivering not only academic lessons, but engaging life experiences. The seeds of life-long learning planted by an educator may sprout years after the last bell has sounded, but those seeds will then grow and multiply in ways one can only imagine.
Our world has changed so dramatically in the last 15 years, and our region has not been immune to these drastic changes. In Danville, we have seen long-standing businesses close or move operations elsewhere and thousands of people lost their jobs. As a community, we are in the process of rebuilding our local economy and replacing those jobs, but there is something different!
The expectations of employers in this new, emerging market differ from those of previous years. It is not a cliché that we are competing in a world economy. Many of our American jobs moved overseas with the internet, improved shipping processes, and technological advances. If we are to compete effectively, we must prepare our students not only with the basic skills of reading, writing, and math, but with proficiency in science, history, technology and critical thinking.
Parents play a pivotal role in this process. We must have parents who continue to be involved and interested in their children’s education from preschool to graduation. Furthermore, parents should come to conferences, read and sign progress reports and report cards, ask about homework and tests, inquire about their children’s interactions at the school, and be knowledgeable about the general curriculum. We also expect parents to hold their children accountable for their learning and actions, to require their best behavior and academic performance, and to encourage them to come to school every day on time. Strong student achievement requires regular attendance.
Our mission in this endeavor is to raise our community’s level of expectation for our students and young people—one citizen at a time.
- Every single person in Danville must become more aware of the importance of education, the availability of the new employment opportunities, and the drug-free requirements to qualify for and to succeed in these jobs.
- We must continue to strengthen community partnerships that support and encourage our children to value and appreciate the merits of education and life-long learning.
- We must continue to hold parents, children, schools, and the greater community accountable for the achievement and well being of each and every child.
- We must continue to have the highest possible expectations for each and every child.
- And we must not rest until every young person in the Danville Public Schools graduates with high school credentials.
I have no doubt that we will make the necessary transformation in Danville Public Schools. As we embark on this massive task, we must balance student achievement with employee growth and morale, while improving our operating efficiency and maintaining high levels of community trust.
To paraphrase a famous quote from William Jennings Bryan, It is clear to me that our destiny as a school division and as a viable partner in this community is clearly a matter of choice, not chance.
Collectively, the Danville Public Schools know how to get a tough job done; and we have the talent, expertise, and work ethic to exceed our own and this community’s expectations, but we need the assistance and support of all of you.
Sue B. Davis
Danville Public Schools Superintendent