As any leader does in the first several months of a new position, my first three months in Pequot Lakes has been a whirlwind effort to learn about the community, to begin establishing relationships and to assess the current reality of our school district.
I’ve focused on listening to the stories while on bus rides, eating lunch with students, meeting with local business owners and elected officials, and during many one-on-one conversations with district leaders. Without question this is a community focused on supporting its schools and I feel blessed to have been called here to help lead.
Over the next several months our school board and district leadership team will be engaged in a robust conversation focused on clarifying our mission and core values and on establishing a 2020 vision for the district. We’ll then work to identify the strategic directions that will make that vision become a reality.
This is critical leadership work, as it will be the foundational roadmap for our decisions about how to spend our time, our fiscal resources and our emotional energy. If your experiences are anything like mine, making “to do lists” is really not a problem. I’ve never struggled to dream about all the things that I want to make happen!
It’s making “stop doing lists” that creates tension, gets us upset and often leaves some people feeling like there’s a winner and a loser. We are all limited by our resources, and great organizations routinely engage in the difficult work of creating “stop doing lists.”
A district strategic roadmap that communicates our mission, core values, vision and strategic directions will provide the foundation for our decisions about what we will do and what we will not do.
Thank you to the many individuals who have given my family and me a very warm welcome to this community. With great staff and students, great facilities and a wonderful group of local communities to be involved in, the Pequot Lakes School District is truly a gem and a blessing to call “our district.”
I look forward to wonderful days and conversations ahead as we develop our district strategic roadmap and make a really good district a great one!
(Chris Lindholm is Pequot Lakes Superintendent of Schools.)