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Clarkston Community School District

From Superintendent Ryan: Big Wins

From Superintendent Ryan: Big Wins

Dear Clarkston Community Schools Families,

If you read the papers or scan social media you've probably noticed that many of our students are making names for themselves at the state and national level through their extraordinary accomplishments. We love seeing our students chase their dreams and we're proud of their success!

We also realize that for most of our students, success comes in smaller, sometimes less noticeable ways everyday. It can become easy for kids to compare themselves with others and wonder how they measure up. It seems everyone is earning a scholarship, everyone is singing at Carnegie Hall with the choir, everyone is winning a state championship in a sport, everyone is competing in a national or global competition, everyone is winning.

But we must remind our kids that if everyone was winning all day, everyday, these accomplishments wouldn't be "extraordinary." The reason the big wins make the news is because these milestone moments don't happen everyday, and they don't happen to everyone. (I'm fairly certain I'll never step foot on the Carnegie Hall stage in my lifetime, and I am OK with that.)

Wherever your child is in his or her life right now, it's OK. Failures are opportunities for growth. Triumphs, even the small ones, are worth noticing and celebrating.

I wish I could high-five every student who did something they're proud of today. I can't, but I want you to know that my conversations with faculty and staff always center on making connections, and seeing the "invisible" kids. Relationships are critical if we want to impress upon our students that their victories and struggles are worthwhile, and that their very existence is worthwhile.

As we head off into our Spring Break today, I hope you're able to take some time to invest in your relationship with your child. If you're headed out of town on a trip, tuck away the devices and start a conversation with your kids. Ask them about their lives. What are they proud of? What are they worried about? What are they excited about?

I'll also be stepping away from the office next week to reconnect with my family, and reinvigorate the relationships that mean the most to me (and I can't wait)!

I wish you all a safe, family-focused, fun week away from school, and I look forward to seeing your students back in class on Monday, April 9.


Shawn Ryan
Interim Superintendent

Reminder: all schools are closed Friday, March 30 through Friday, April 6.

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 8,000 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. Each Clarkston Community Schools' student is fully engaged in a globally focused education, from preschool through graduation, that fosters in students a sense of self, perspective, responsibility/ownership, and contribution. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to cultivate thinkers, learners and positive contributors to a global society.

Read more Clarkston Community Schools News at

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