Greetings Bellevue Educators, Staff, Students, Families, and Community Members:
At the Bellevue School District (BSD), our leadership philosophy centers on key practices that effective leaders demonstrate. One of those key practices is to “encourage the heart” through leadership. To encourage the heart, our leaders recognize and honor the contributions that individuals make to our collective success.
Central to this practice is the idea that showing gratitude is at the very heart of leadership. With appreciation, leadership develops purpose. When we celebrate our values and victories, we create a spirit of community . . . and great things can happen.
Working to ensure that each and every one of our students is affirmed, inspired, and thriving is the purpose that drives me to serve you as Bellevue’s superintendent. Achieving this goal, however, is not a solo task. All of us – district leaders, educators, staff, students, families, and community members – must work together.
I continue to be humbled by the collective effort our entire community puts in to support our students and schools. For that reason, I choose to use gratitude as my guide every day, especially in November. I am grateful for our amazing 2,900 employees that show up to work every day ready to serve our 20,000 students. I am grateful for our families who provide their time and talents to helping us learn and grow as a district. I am grateful for our community partners – including the Bellevue Schools Foundation, our Parent Teacher Student Associations, Eastside Pathways, Rainer Athletes, Youth Eastside (YES), Jubilee Reach, and so many others – who enhance our students’ experiences both inside and outside the classroom.
In addition to Thanksgiving, November is a month filled with celebrations of many positive differences made in the lives of our students and families. Several monthly recognitions illustrate the gratitude I have for the great work that happens daily across the district:
- November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. While we may think of Bellevue as a place of great privilege and resources, we have nearly 300 BSD students who face housing instability on a regular basis. I am grateful for the work of the dedicated staff in our McKinney-Vento Program, assisting students and families who are experiencing homelessness with much-needed resources. I am also grateful for our community partners including the City of Bellevue, Bellevue College, and Bellevue LifeSpring, who provided four of our graduates with free housing and tuition at Bellevue College to advance their college dreams. Our hope is to expand this program in the future.
- November 11, Veteran’s Day, is a day set aside to honor our military veterans. At BSD, we are grateful for our numerous educators and staff who are veterans. Please take the time (not only on November 11, but throughout the year) to extend a special thank you to these veterans and others in our community. They epitomize our shared values and are an example of selfless service to others.
- The week of November 18 marks American Education Week. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor Bellevue’s 1,500 educators who ensure that each and every one of our students receives a quality education. This week also includes a special recognition for our support personnel on November 20, Education Support Professionals Day. Members of our support staff are essential to our success. They maintain our building and grounds, prepare and serve meals, keep facilities clean and orderly, assist in classroom, deliver instructional support, and keep our buildings secure. They also provide information technology and media services, administrative support, and safe transportation. We are extremely grateful for their service to our students and encourage you to take a moment to express your gratitude as well.
Let me close by again expressing my sincere gratitude to our learning community as a whole for the support you extend in many forms. Your contributions throughout the year truly affirm and inspire each and every student to learn and thrive as creators of their future world.
Bellevue School District