On August 28, the Rockford Board of Education will discuss the process they will follow to select our next Superintendent of Schools. I hope it’s a short and to the point discussion that ends with a decision to look within District 205, foregoing a national search.
Desiring stability and believing that District 205 is quickly moving in the right direction, Next Rockford has approved a resolution calling on the Board of Education to narrow its search to the current leaders within the district. Dr. Willis has done a fine job of putting in place a team that can succeed him and continue the progress we are now seeing unfold.
We can’t afford the distraction of a national search or the potential that yet another out-of-town school administrator might come in and upset the apple cart. Too much progress has been made to take that backward step.
Next Rockford is supportive of the district’s five-point strategic plan, known as the Readiness Rocks. The board of education approved the plan and should see to it that its next leader is committed to executing the plan. Where better to find that leader than from the pool of folks that helped shape the plan?
Since our founding in 2003, Next Rockford has worked to improve public education in Rockford. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results that this team – led by Dr. Willis and his deputies Matt Vosberg and Ehren Jarrett – are producing; including an extended school day, reinvigorated arts and sports programs, redesign of our high schools in to smaller learning academies and expansion of pre-school options, among other advancements.
At his address to the business community last week, Mayor Morrissey noted, “When it comes to leadership in our public schools currently, I’ve got to tell you I’m very, very pleased with the work… we’ve had the most consistent, positive leadership at Rockford Public Schools that I’ve been around since I was elected in 2005. I hope we can draw up on our local resources and the leadership that’s there right now to keep things moving forward.”
We couldn’t agree more, Mayor.
The team that is in place, comprised of capable and committed, born-and-raised-Rockfordians is the team that should lead the district and our community into the future. Anything else would be a misguided mistake. As we have for the past decade, Next Rockford looks forward to partnering with District 205 in the future. Preferably, in the next decade the district will be led by its current crop of leaders.