The president of the Mansfield City Schools Board of Education opened the 2018-2019 school year Monday by emphasizing the positive impact each district employee can have on students.
Citing district enrollment of 3,342, Judy Forney said students could fill Pete Henry Gym at Mansfield Senior High “ and there still would be 1,000 who didn’t have a seat. Each of those 3,342 have a story. Always remember what an important role you play in their lives, whether you are bus drivers, secretaries, custodians or teachers.” Forney addressed a capacity turnout at the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center. “Our parents are counting on you. Our families are counting on you. Thank you for being here.”
A lifelong resident of Mansfield and a graduate of Malabar High School, Forney said Mansfield City Schools has the support of taxpayers and local businesses and foundations.
She introduced the two other board members present – Renda Cline and Sheryl Weber – and expressed the board’s support of the entire district staff and urged them to reach out for help when needed.
“I want to tell you this board of education believes in you,” Forney said. “We know the work you do is amazing but you are not super human.” Acknowledging that “there are always financial limitations,” she said the board will always strive to treat all of its employees fairly.
Superintendent Brian Garverick introduced the district’s 57 new employees individually and said success depends in large part on the attitude that everyone brings to work.
“Our challenges are many. We know that. What we do every day depends on our attitude when we come to work. We have to be present both physically and mentally,” Garverick said. “Let us pledge within ourselves to do our very best work every day. The big picture changes for the better when each of us meets our individual responsibilities.”
Pam Jones, a district counselor and president of the Mansfield Schools Employees Association, repeated a quote she shared last year: “Students won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Acknowledging that situations can sometimes be stressful, Jones urged, “When it really gets tough envision students as what they can become, not at that moment.”
The morning’s keynote speaker, consultant Demia Kandi, who will work in district building’s throughout the year, emphasized creation of a “culture of excellence.” “Our roles and responsibilities require us to know our deficiencies and draw from our strengths,” she said. “Expect greatness from yourself and expect greatness from your colleagues.”
Kandi reminded all staff of the “invisible dynamics in students’ backpacks that affect learning.” “You have the power to energize everyone you come into contact with,” she said. “What you say and how you say it creates a culture of excellence.”
Earlier in the program Garverick thanked Richland Bank for providing the morning’s continental breakfast and for “probably being the district’s longest-standing business partner. Kristi Massa, banking officer in marketing and communications, and a Senior High graduate, thanked district employees for their work and said the bank is “here to support you any way we can.”
Two Senior High students opened the program with solo songs. Calio Snyder sang “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman.” Clover France sang Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.”
Source, Photo: Mansfield City Schools