Main Menu

Explore More

Clarkston Community School District

From Superintendent Ryan: Be Our Guest

From Superintendent Ryan: Be Our Guest

Last year, our administration read the book, Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by the Disney Institute. We used our monthly team meetings as a time to discuss a chapter or two, and consider how the practices laid out in the book apply to our work as an educational community.

As the countdown to a new school year begins, I can't help but imagine that the undercurrent of excitement rippling through our school buildings right now is not unlike opening the gates at a Disney park. Each member of our district family plays an important part in setting the scene for our "guests" to enjoy an unforgettable experience in the 2019-2020 school year. Indeed, even as you read these words, preparations are well underway!

Somewhere in our district, a bus driver is mapping his way through a new route, so that on the first day of school, he knows just where his students will be waiting for him. He will be the first smile of their school day, and he will be ready.

Somewhere in our district, a tradesman is putting the finishing touches on a new building entrance that will provide our students and staff with an added layer of safety and security. Each visitor will be personally welcomed in the Main Office before proceeding into the school. The construction work in our buildings has taken months, and it is finally ready.

Somewhere in our district, our district chef (also a Clarkston dad!) is planning the menu for our school breakfasts and lunches.He looks over the delicious and nutritious meals that are planned for our students and wonders what his own children will think of the district's all new food service offerings. He's ready...and slightly hungry!

Somewhere in our district, a new teacher is shaking the hand of our Board President. She (and 30 other new staff members) will soon learn what we mean when we say "Clarkston Community Schools creates a learning environment where students, staff, and families are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported." This is more than a mission statement, it's a common purpose and she is ready to live it.

Somewhere in our district, a student is walking through her middle school schedule for the first time. This new school is bigger than her old elementary, but she finds her team's hallway and sees that all of her classes are nearby. She practices opening her locker and sticks a magnetic mirror to the door, giving her reflection a quick smile. She knows she is ready.

Somewhere in our district, a teacher is rolling out a colorful carpet that will become the perfect gathering space for her students. This classroom will be her students' home-away-from-home for the school year. She scans the room and her eyes land on a poster by the door that says, "You Belong Here." She doesn't yet know the little faces that will soon come through that door, she doesn't yet know their dreams or their worries, or what they eat for breakfast...but soon, she will. And she is ready.

And somewhere in our district, a mom and dad are drinking coffee as one of the last days of summer slowly unfolds. She thinks it will be a good day to get out and go school shopping, if the kids ever wake up. He thinks, "at this time next week, the kids will already be at school." They can't believe summer has gone so fast, but it was sweet, and they are ready.

This school year, I invite you into our schools to "be our guest." We want you in our schools. Come meet your children's teachers, walk our halls at orientation, sign up to volunteer. Support our students at games and performances. Our schools are a welcome place for all and we exist to serve you and your family. We are Clarkston. We are ready.

See you on Monday, August 26 for our first half day of school.

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 7,500 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.