Main Menu

Explore More

Clarkston Community School District

From Superintendent Ryan: Inside Out

From Superintendent Ryan: Inside Out

Dear Clarkston Community Schools Families,

Each week, our district's Director of Student Growth & Well-Being, Staci Puzio, shares a "Well-Being Wednesday" message with all staff. This week, she wrote about grace and vulnerability, and I thought this was so fitting given the magnitude of what our teachers and you, as parents and students, are going through. The discomfort that we are experiencing is real, and it's no joke. Our lives are upside down and inside out. But we will get through this and be better for it. Thanks to Mrs. Puzio for acknowledging this in such an eloquent way. I hope you enjoy her message as much as I did.

Dr. Shawn Ryan
Superintendent of Schools

Day 2. We are in the middle of the messiness of starting school in a distance learning or virtual way and it is uncomfortable. The author Brene Brown gave the analogy of riding on Space Mountain, saying, "you just cannot anticipate the turns and the drops, and the climbs, and we're in that part where the voice comes on, you're already strapped in and it's moving forward, and even though you want to scream, 'Hey, I changed my mind!" As I listened to Brene Brown's podcast episode titled Brene on Day 2, it felt like she was speaking our story.

She spoke about working with Pixar and the flow of a story where Act 2 is when the main character is trying to find every comfortable way to solve the problem posed in Act 1. When they discover that they cannot solve the problem without vulnerability, they move to Act 3 recognizing the trials they have gone through and understand that they must be brave and vulnerable to solve the problem. We are in Act 2. It's hard and we want to scream, "Hey, I changed my mind!".

And here's how Brene Brown ended the podcast: "Most of the time when we're in complete darkness, we wave our arms around to reach out and grab someone who can walk with us, to get our bearings, to give us perspective, to hold on to. I think it's that time. The middle is messy, but it's also where the magic happens. If we believe in ourselves, if we reach out together, and if we lean into a little bit of that grace that says, 'We can get through this."

This is where our strength lies - reach out together and lean into grace. We will get through this.

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 7,100 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Clarkston Community Schools students are well-prepared for a future that excites them, and believe that they can achieve their dreams. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to create a learning environment where students, staff, and families are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported.

Read more Clarkston Community Schools News at

Media Contact: Mary Ellen Rowe, Marketing Director (248) 623-5460.

There are no news posts to display