Return to Headlines

Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year

Superintendent Joe Gothard

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to an exciting new school year! The summer flew by so quickly, it seems like only yesterday we were looking forward to graduations and various summer plans.

For me, there's nothing like the exhilaration of a new school year. So many possibilities, so many new opportunities - and so many new faces! I vividly remember feeling anxious walking into my classroom as a new teacher. There were new surroundings, new colleagues, new rules and lots and lots of new expectations.

I also remember being surrounded by supportive colleagues and feeling joy in the promise of a new beginning. Even today there's such positive anticipation; everyone is looking forward to starting this year with success, productivity and a great attitude.

I understand, however, the tremendous responsibility each of us has. It's not enough to simply 'hope' for a good year, it takes effort. It takes focus. And yes, it takes some sacrifice on our part to make the environment and learning experience the best it can possibly be for every one of our students.

When I begin a new journey, I always find it helpful to have a roadmap. Yes, I am one of those people who actually does pay attention to the directions. For us, that roadmap is our strategic plan, SPPS Achieves. It has five major focus areas:

  • Positive School and District Culture
  • Effective and Culturally Relevant Instruction,
  • Program Evaluation/Resource Allocation
  • College and Career Paths
  • Family and Community Engagement

I encourage you to frequently refer to that plan, available here, as we take the journey of a new school year together. SPPS Achieves helps focus our efforts on long term student outcomes. It is our roadmap to making our mission come alive: To inspire students to think critically, pursue their dreams and change the world.

I hope you will join me in making the 2019-20 school year the best for all of our students. I know that's rather easy to say as we begin the first week of classes. I also know it can be more difficult as we deal with challenges our students and families face. Let's work together, rely on each other and above all, keep kids first.

Thank you for being an important part of Team SPPS.

In partnership,


Joe Gothard