Looking forward to 2018

Rachel DeChristina teaching kindergarten students at Edison ElementaryLet me begin by wishing you a happy new year filled with continued success and student progress! On a personal note, I hope you enjoyed winter break, spending time with family and friends, and getting some well-deserved rest.

I am excited to work with you in the second half of the school year to ensure learning continues.

I appreciate the comments of renowned author and researcher Carol Tomlinson, who wrote, "Excellence in education is when we do everything that we can to make sure [students] become everything that they can."

During winter break, I received a letter from a Mesa High School alumna. Now a successful doctor, she wanted me to know about her positive experiences and the excellent education she received as one of our students. She wrote:

"When I transferred as a student to Mesa from out of state, I did not think positively of myself or my future. My past experiences taught me that I wasn't of much value. That mentality transformed because of Mesa Public Schools. My principal helped me see a future. My bus driver helped me see that I have potential. My teachers believed in me so much that for the first time I began to believe in myself. They gave me hope. I attribute who I am and my life successes to Mesa Public Schools and the relentless resolve of caring adults who refused to give up on me."

Let's be that kind of change for each of our 64,000 students. Now, some may be thinking, "Cowan, you're crazy! We can't do that." I challenge you. Yes, I am crazy enough to believe that we can have that kind of impact on our students — ALL of them.

With the new year comes new beginnings. I invite you to be the difference in the lives of our students. Help them each see a future and embrace hope, and assist them in creating and achieving their dreams.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to ensuring that all students are provided with the tools, resources, opportunities and choices to support their individual paths to success. I hope you enjoy your second semester, and at the end can look back and see that YOU have been the difference.

With respect,


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