As the new Superintendent of Swansea Public Schools, I wanted to take a moment to outline some thoughts about how I see the district progressing. The 2016-2017 school year will mark the start of my eleventh year as an administrator in Swansea and I am excited to embark upon a journey that will afford me the opportunity to build upon the district’s successes, while also addressing identified areas of growth and development.
My approach, to the oversight of the educational community here in Swansea, will continue to be a collaborative one, where decisions are made with input from pertinent stakeholders. It is important to me that staff members, administrators, and community partners are involved in ensuring that students are educated in an environment where they can be successful. As such, I have an open door policy and look forward to hearing new ideas, thoughts, and processes that can benefit our students.
Our district’s motto, “Students Come First” cannot be something that we just say, or have written in our handbooks, it needs to be an action, in that, everything that we do as a learning community has to revolve around this tenant. As your new superintendent, it is important for me to make this motto a living, breathing entity. Being visible in the schools and being readily accessible to community members will allow me to see, first hand, what is transpiring in the classrooms, in the schools, and what carry-over there is to the community.
Professional development for staff is important and is something that we have already begun to look at differently in Swansea. Assistant Superintendent, Elizabeth White, and I, will be looking to further enhance the opportunities for educators so that professional development is meaningful, relevant and immediately applicable in the classroom to ensure that the focus is always on student learning and success.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education governs much of what we do as educators, but the people that really matter to me, are the ones working directly with, and for, our students. I am thankful that our parent organizations are already vibrant members of their respective school communities and I believe this trend to be a positive one that has gained momentum over the past several years. I will be looking to create further opportunities, in conjunction with the building principals, to develop even stronger community and parental involvement.
I am excited, and eager, to begin my new career path here within Swansea Public Schools. I intend to be a part of this educational community for many years and will be working hard to continue the great work that has been done by my predecessor.
Follow me on Twitter at JJR @superswansea16 and please join me for a ‘Meet and Greet’ on Wednesday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the School Administration Building, 1 Gardners Neck Rd.
Please enjoy a happy, healthy and fun-filled summer!
John J. Robidoux
Superintendent of Schools