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Clarkston Community School District

From Superintendent Ryan: School's Out!

From Superintendent Ryan: School's Out!

Dear Clarkston Community Schools Families,

This past Monday, 646 Clarkston High School graduates crossed the stage at DTE Energy Theatre, stepping into the next chapter of their life story. I shook hands with each one, and in their eyes I saw the full range of emotion that comes with beginnings and endings: excitement, pride, anticipation, satisfaction, a little nervousness, and overwhelming happiness.

In my commencement address on Monday, I encouraged the Class of 2019 to embrace discomfort, take up challenges instead of fears, and dare to ask "what if" in order to grow and reach higher. On Tuesday, I had a chance to "walk the walk" when I tandem parachuted with the U.S. Army Golden Knights! I've never had a more exhilarating, scary and simultaneously peaceful experience in my life.

As a district, we took up new challenges this school year and conquered them together. (A record 13 snow days was a challenge we've never before encountered!) We continued our building and technology improvement bond projects, and engaged in school safety training for all students and staff to become an ALICE-certified school district. We also collaborated in a "uniquely Clarkston" way to create a new mission and vision for the district, and a strategic plan to guide our efforts into 2025. This roadmap for our school community (which will soon be rolled out publicly) centers on four pillars: whole person development, foundational & academic skills, student-focused learning, and future pathways.

Our commitment to student success and a positive learning environment is nothing new, but we are constantly collaborating and challenging ourselves to grow as an educational community. And, as a result, our students and staff are able to reach higher and dream bigger.

I am inspired by all of the amazing displays of brilliance by our students and staff everyday! Particularly at this time of year, it's a treat to see tremendous academic and personal growth that our students have experienced, and the lifelong relationships that were formed. (In fact, three of our bus drivers attended the Pine Knob Elementary School fifth grade graduation to support and congratulate fifth graders on their route!)

So, what comes after challenges, beginnings, and endings? Of course, more challenges, beginnings, and endings. But first, a deep breath and some relaxation.

I wish you and your family a safe and restful summer break, and I look forward to a new beginning when we see each other again in August!


Shawn Ryan
Superintendent of Schools

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.

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