A Message From Dr. Bell  

March 05, 2013

It is always fun and informational to gas up the ESU 10 van and head out on the highways and byways to visit school districts. I had an “aha” moment on my most recent junket to the western part of the ESU 10 region. A constant theme was discussed by leadership personnel all along the route. Mark Aten, the distinguished Overton Superintendent, kicked off the initial thought when he lamented the fact that so many of his quality staff have, or will soon be, retired.  The exodus of the “baby boomer” generation is in full swing.  That exodus appears to be a two-edged sword. On one hand we lose a wealth of experienced and well- trained people that school districts have expended extensive time and funds to actuate their continued excellence. On the other hand there is a feeling of excitement as we wait to see what the next wave of young teachers bring to the table. It will be interesting to see what skills and talents they provide and how those skills and talents move the world of teaching and learning forward. 

All I know is that ESU 10 staff constantly monitors the needs of school district and school district personnel as we “partner with our customers to meet changing needs through, professional expertise, training, and support”. To help us better focus our energies and resources on your needs, I have discovered a new quick and easy assessment tool that I’m currently discussing with school superintendents. More information will be shared at a later date once I get around to all of the leaders. Not only would this tool help identify school district strengths and weaknesses; it would also arm ESU 10 staff with information to be used to create more specific and targeted solutions to meet your needs. Just like all of you, we need to be good stewards of the money provided us and constantly look for ways to maximize the dollars we receive.

On a lighter note, it is once again my favorite time of the year – March Madness. I’ve enjoyed listening to and watching the high school sport championships. Now it’s time for me to root for any college basketball team that competes against Duke University. I think only John Stritt of the ESU 10 staff would understand why I feel that way. I really have no favorites this year but enjoy watching the competition. I especially enjoy listening to the post game comments from the athletes. I wonder if we will ever be mandated to provide communication classes in high school to help our students with these interviews. Although, student athletes that live in this part of the country seem to handle themselves pretty well in these situations. One of my favorite interviews was delivered years ago by Charles Shackleford, a North Carolina State University basketball player. He tried to impress us all with his vocabulary and said, “Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.” I still wonder if he played water polo on the side…     

The annual ESU 10 survey will be on line soon. Please take the time to complete it when it arrives. We are trying to make it shorter, easier, and more specific. Thank you for your continued support of ESU 10.