A Message From Dr. Bell  

January 12, 2016

I have been working so hard at my desk preparing all of the necessary documents for the annual school district visits. Carol Smith, the Connector editor, startled me when she asked when my January article would be completed. I guess it is time to pause and wish you all a happy, successful, and harmonious new year as you follow AQuESST for greater student achievement. (I threw in the last part just to impress Dr. Blomstedt.)

It is once again time for all of us at ESU 10 to develop our short and long term plans as we try to focus our resources on your needs. We do this, of course, “to partner with stakeholders to meet changing needs through professional expertise in providing services, learning opportunities and support.” A school visit meeting schedule document will soon be shared with all of the superintendents so that we can accomplish this task by April 1. We hope to use the distance learning devices more this year to better value each other’s time in this busy whirlwind of pedagogical pursuit. It’s time for all of you to get your wish lists ready.

The annual visits are coming at a good time in my thought process. I had the opportunity to attend the Association of Educational Service Agencies Fall Conference a month ago. One of the keynote addresses really caught my attention. Brandon Busteed from Gallup Education has a mission to create a national movement to measure educational outcomes that matter most, connect education to jobs and job creation, and promote a paradigm shift from knowledge mastery to emotional engagement in education. He made me think more about the importance of “well-being” as a key component for an organization’s success. One of his thoughts really made me think about how things are done here at ESU 10. He stated that there was research that found that less than 50% of workers say they get to do what they do best each day. That was a profound and provocative statement. Think about this in your situations. Is that true of the people you lead or the students that you teach? It makes me want to emphasize to all ESU 10 staff the importance of living our mission and values. Would work productivity double if people felt emotionally supported and participate in collaborative experiential type of activities? I think that thought is accurate. I have noticed over the years that the closer the ESU 10 staff gets to schools, the more they seem to like us and use us. We enjoy being liked and used so get ready for a renewed emphasis in this area.

Our focus is on serving you!