The day after I was hired in the Lorain City Schools, HB 70 was signed into law which essentially meant that we were given seven months to convert our F’s to C’s on the Local Report Card. We understood that the likelihood of that occurring was low - especially with the State requiring us to take three different test during that time. Regardless, we focused on doing what was in the best interest of the almost 7,000 children we served - and we accomplished some great things. I attribute our success to a strong community engagement plan and a number of partnerships that we established and fostered. I cannot possibly overstate the value of our partnership with the Cleveland Schools. It was very obvious to us that we shared common values and philosophies with the leadership in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). However, it was equally obvious that they were ahead of us in the development and implementation of many of the programs and initiatives our community expected from us. Some notable examples were wraparound services and our attendance campaign. In the spirit of collaboration, we reached out to their CEO, Eric Gordon, and consistent with who he is as a person and as a leader, he welcomed us in, gave us full access to those who had developed expertise in the areas in which we needed to grow and made it clear that we are all on the same team. As a result of that relationship, we were able to provide higher quality services to our Lorain families much sooner than would have otherwise been possible. We learned from their mistakes as well as their successes and we were able to accomplish great things as a result. Therefore, in addition to having common values and educational philosophies with the Cleveland Schools, over the past three years, I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about how they conduct business and their tireless approach at improving the lives of the children on Cleveland. However, the kicker for me was the All-City Musical where high school students from around the City performed at Playhouse Square. I was floored. The next day, I reached out to Eric and expressed that I wanted to be a part of the great things they’re doing. I am now blessed to be a Network Leader (Regional Superintendent) in CMSD and I’m having a blast, working with some truly amazing and talented people.
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