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Thank YOU, Team WB! - June 2021

As  we conclude one of the most challenging years in the history of public education, I express my deep appreciation, gratitude and THANK YOU to all of the people who make up TEAM WB! It is only because we are all dedicated to the health, safety, social/emotional well-being and academic progress of the children and young adults we serve that we are concluding this year on a positive note!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

TEAM WB is fantastic, but exactly who are the team members that make our success possible? You’ve often heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child”. In the West Bloomfield School District, TEAM WB is our village. It’s fitting to conclude our year by recognizing the many contributions of each member of our educational village for the value they continually add to our work with all students.

First, parents/guardians and families take center stage. Without their trust, support and confidence in what we do, we wouldn’t exist. Our partnership with families and our relationships with parents and their children (our students) make everything we do possible. Particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic year, these relationships have been key to students’ continued learning, growth and development. Thank you for your engagement, understanding and encouragement as we’ve navigated the challenges of a most unusual year.

The frontline TEAM WB members are all those staff who come in daily contact with our students. Thank you to our educators (including teachers, specialists, speech and language pathologists, guidance counselors, social workers, early childhood staff, adult education staff, psychologists) for the caring, dedication, resilience, adaptability and fortitude you’ve demonstrated throughout the year. Whether via Zoom, in-person on video recording, you’ve taught, challenged, inspired, and cared for the students we collectively serve. Everyone across the nation has a renewed sense of appreciation for the difficulty and intricacies involved in effective teaching. Teaching, as a profession, is not as simple as people once thought.

Another frontline group of people, our paraeducators, provide vital supports for the students and teachers they serve. Their personal attention, care guidance and welcoming smiles greet students daily as paraeducators meet the individual needs of
students. Thank you for the positive differences you make with the students you serve! Frontline leadership and effective management set the tone for effective schools. TEAM WB is fortunate to have a talented, dedicated and caring group of principals and assistant principals, supported by excellent secretaries and support staff. This team sees that teachers, students and parents are served in a way that enables all to be successful. The principal/assistant principals collaborate with other team members to set the school’s vision and develop the strategies and plans to achieve that vision. The school secretaries are instrumental in assisting the day-to-day managing of school operations. I recently read a definition of a school secretary as someone who solves a problem you did not know you had in a way you do not understand – See also wizard, magician. This succinctly defines the school secretary’s value.

Another collection of frontline team members includes custodians, nutrition staff, transportation staff, crossing guards and EduStaff Employees (substitutes). We thank each of the people serving in these vitally important roles. They provide support services that are key to the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff. During this year of COVID, these services have been
particularly important as we’ve implemented strategies and plans to effectively clean, feed and transport our students. Thanks for everything you do to ensure safe and healthy learning environments for all.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I did not recognize and thank all the employees working at the central office and the transportation/maintenance buildings. These TEAM WB members (including assistant superintendents, directors, curriculum coordinators, coordinators, instructional coaches, executive assistants, administrative assistants, maintenance workers, technicians, support staff and technology staff) provide vital district leadership, technical and support services, instructional support, maintenance and operations supports. In short, they are the team behind the scenes responsible for supporting students, parents, and frontline team members. Additionally, the central office administrators work effectively with the Board of Education to set the vision, execute the strategic plan and implement the instructional and student support programs of the school district. Thanks to all the people working mostly behind the scenes on behalf of students, families and staff, so that students receive the best education possible.

In conclusion, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!TEAM WB is the greatest, which makes it possible for us to provide students with educational experiences second to none!