An Open Letter to the Entire Palmyra-Eagle Area School District Community – Dr. Steven M. Bloom
“Creating a Culture of Respect and Excellence – our CORE”
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you and let you know how proud and humbled I am to be chosen as Superintendent of the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District. In the short time that I have been in the district I have had many conversations with staff members, parents and community residents of Palmyra and Eagle. Two common themes have come up in virtually every conversation that I have had. First, people are very proud of our community and take great pride in our schools. Secondly, I have heard repeatedly about the fantastic students that we have attending our schools. While there are numerous challenges facing our district in both the short and long term these two beliefs serve as a critical foundation for meeting any obstacles in our path.
Professionally, I am a life-long educator. I have had the opportunity to work in several public school systems as well as serve as a full-time faculty member at an institution of higher education. Further, I have served as an adjunct instructor at two post-secondary institutions working with educators interested in enhancing their leadership capabilities. During my professional career I have served as a regular education classroom teacher, program coordinator, principal, director of instruction and district administrator. During my career I have come to understand and know that people expect those in positions of leadership to be VISIBLE. It is my intention to be a presence in our three district schools so that I can come to know our students and staff members by name and personally. You can also expect to see me at various community and school sponsored events while time permits.
I fully understand and appreciate the complexities of learning organizations. Since they are populated by people, a key leadership skill is one of communication. I will strive to being open and honest in the sharing of information – this means being TRANSPARENT. I am equally comfortable working with paper and people, process and product, and timelines and deadlines. Orchestrating and facilitating the successful completion of multiple tasks and prioritizing, delegating, and distributing leadership across and within the educational environment are critically important. I am also fully aware that a leader is unable to lead others to a place which they will not, themselves, venture and fully understand that a leader with no followers is simply taking a walk by themselves.
Being a firm believer in life-long learning I embrace the idea of Roland Barth as being the “Head Learner” of the school district. If you choose to visit me at the district office (and I welcome and invite you to do so) you will see this nameplate above my office door. I have worked with and for local school boards and understand the value and importance of aligning the internal institutional mission, vision and goals with the larger external community. Further, I am aware that the institution is not able to seek its mission, live its vision or fulfill its goals without the internal support of the employees upon whose backs most of the important work gets done. I have personally and professionally practiced life-long learning and understand the importance of instilling in students and adults alike the passion and drive “to ensure that students excel with intellect and virtue, inspired by innovative educators who engage and challenge each individual.” This is our district mission statement and I pledge to work toward the accomplishment of this promise.
Finally, making decisions is a key expectation of my role as superintendent. I wish that every decision would be fully supported by all stakeholders, but I know that some decisions are likely to be supported by some and despised by others. Knowing that I can not possibly make everyone pleased with a decision or recommendation I can assure you that the process used in making decisions will be grounded in being ETHICAL and forthright.
I hope that you will take time to introduce yourself to me as time permits and would encourage you to contact me as time permits or visit with me at your convenience. I can be reached via telephone at 262-495=7101, extension 2601 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. As we move forward, it is my intention to work toward “Creating a Culture of Respect and Excellence.” I look forward to creating our new “CORE” together.