Superintendent's Blog: Guest Blog by Palmer Stroup, The Tilghman Bell
He distilled this feedback into a vision: to know each and every student by name and need. The surveys received stressed the importance of relationships - the relationships of student to teachers, of teachers to parents, of school leaders to community leaders. Shively stated, “Education has always been, and always will be, about relationships with the students that we're serving.”
People outside our district are quick to point it out, but as we go through our school days at PTHS we do not notice nor care that we are one of the most diverse school districts in the state. Our administrators and teachers however are faced with the challenge of how to teach and provide a range of opportunities for students of all incomes, races, and educational levels. The Vision and Mission of the Paducah Public Schools have been revised to address this challenge and build these relationships.
Our district is small enough that our teachers know us by name; even our principals know our name. Teachers you’ve never had for a class know you and speak to you in the hall. Teachers check on your grades or how things are going at home although you may not realize it. We are fortunate because that does not always happen at bigger schools and districts. High schools are mandated by the state to get every high school student prepared for either a career or college by reaching certain benchmarks on standardized tests. But here in Paducah schools, the goal is to also personalize the education of every student. "Students are so much more than just a number based on a test score. We must be focused on developing the entire student! I believe that message is conveyed in our new Vision and Mission." Shively added.
It was certainly time for a change. The previous Mission and Statement of Beliefs were compiled during a strategic planning session in 1991, then were reviewed and confirmed by the Board of Education in 2005. Superintendent Shively recommended this new Vision and Mission to the Board in August 2015 – it was approved unanimously. It is now displayed in all school buildings.