To the community of Menifee County,
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin
What is a stakeholder? Or better, who is a stakeholder? It’s actually rather simple…a stake…holder is one who holds a stake! According to the history books, in the early 1890’s, the largest land run in history began with more than 100,000 people making a mad dash into Oklahoma to stake their claims to the best lands. Upon arrival to their desired destination, these early settlers drove a stake in the ground and proudly claimed ownership. They became stakeholders!
As we near completion of another school year, I want to emphasize the importance of our stakeholders in education and more specifically, the importance of being involved as a stakeholder in a Menifee County education. Everyone and anyone with an interest in helping the children of Menifee County realize their dreams and to become productive citizens of our great Commonwealth are stakeholders. Every day, we share the importance of our common belief that every child can learn and learn at high levels. But, we also agree that this belief alone will produce no sustainable result in student achievement until the child is determined to also believe. In other words, the child must become a stakeholder. Teachers are stakeholders and like all stakeholders, we must deliver a message of hope every day, to every student, “You can learn and I’m here to help you succeed”. Our children must believe that the hope for a brighter, more successful future is through the power of a world-class education available right here in Menifee County.
Parents, guardians, community members, and other interested parties are also stakeholders. We must all take an active role in being held accountable for the success of our community. The focus of our collective energy must be on kids and every decision that is made must be confirmed by clear and convincing evidence that this is the right thing to do. If we hope to see long-term, sustainable improvement in the success of our schools, our decisions must be made in the interest of what’s best for kids. When someone says, “we’re going to do this, because it’s the right thing to do”, commend them for doing the right things, but challenge them by asking what do we hope to accomplish? Ask questions: How will this help my child succeed in reaching reading proficiency or math competency? How will this help my child graduate and be college and career ready? How will this help my child develop a love for learning? Stake a claim on your territory.
Much work has been accomplished this past school year. And, each day has brought us closer to the prize. The strategies of school improvement found within the educational recovery framework are intensive, focused, and highly effective. And, when employed with a sense of urgency, the results are immediate. If assessment results are any indicator of success, the students of Menifee County High School have exceeded all expectations. Without going in to the details of each measured category, let’s just say that, across the board, our students surpassed the academic goals set for the 2016-17 school year in college and career readiness. In fact, some are higher than has ever been attained, while other areas of assessment growth may just be some of the highest in the state. Menifee County High School is poised to become a distinguished school very, very soon.
My challenge for Menifee County is to proudly claim ownership of our children’s education. Let’s make every effort to support one another and help our kids succeed. After all, it’s the right thing to do.
Growing up a stone’s throw from the county line, it is encouraging to know we still have the best and brightest right here in Menifee County and the heart Appalachia.
Good luck and God bless in the coming school year.
Steven C. Meadows