State Superintendent attends kickoff

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State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford-Taylor gave the keynote speech and Superintendent Dana Monogue addressed staff for the first time before a packed house at the All-Staff Kickoff Celebration on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at the Performing Arts Center.

Visit the District's Facebook page to see more photos from the All-Staff Kickoff Celebration.

Taylor shared a story about her family being the first to integrate the all-white public high school in Marks, Miss. She noted how an English teacher her sophomore year inspired her by telling her she was a fantastic writer and reminded District staff they hold that same power to influence all childenre.

"Please don’t forget how important you are to the lives of your students,'' Stanford Taylor said. "A classroom discussion, words of support, or a moment of kindness might just be the interaction that changes the course of a student's life."

Monogue also shared biographical information along with noting she has worked in the Stoughton, Waukesha and Elmbrook school districts before taking over as District Superintendent on July 1. She then laid out her vision for the coming year and noted while there is a lot of great work taking place there is also initiative fatigue and she wants to re-focus on a few priorities.

Board of Education president Bob Green, vice president Annette Ashley, clerk Todd Smith and fellow member Minza Karim also attended the event. Green updated staff on the building projects and encouraged them to attend the School Board's roundtables and provide their feedback on what is and isn't going well. Ashley welcomed Monogue to the District, while Smith reviewed the results from the latest staff climate survey and noted while the District is very good about celebrating its successes more needs to be done to address staff concerns.

District seniors Rupa Ballamudi, Julian Engle, Rohan Shah, Tyler Wilson, Serena Raval and Matthew Thompson also spoke at the 75-minute event. They closed the celebration by each naming teachers who made a difference in their education and lives and asking them to stand and be recognized.

The MHS marching band also performed for the third straight year. Before the Collin Keenan and Rija Ratsimihah, who were members of the hip-hop class at MHS that was added last year, performed music. Ratsimihah also sang two of his own songs.

Before the welcome-back event, staff had the opportunity to participate in one of approximately 20 wellness activities.