October 2012 Message

October 2012

With a deep commitment to public education and the children of Piscataway, I assume the position of Interim Superintendent of Schools. 

The trust that the Board of Education has placed in me is an honor and a challenge, one that I will meet with the assistance of teachers, parents, administrators, and our support staff.  

During the coming year, while the Board of Education conducts a search for a permanent Superintendent, its goal is to assure that the path our schools are taking is not interrupted. Facing our school district this year is the development of a new Strategic Plan, financial hurdles, enrollment growth, new teacher and principal performance systems, and instructional initiatives that include the iPad and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects. 

What prepares me for this leadership assignment? Besides almost 15 years of professional experience in public education, including a decade in Piscataway, I am the parent of two children and became an advocate for them and other people’s children when mine were very young. When you are a parent, you learn quickly how to ask questions, communicate your expectations, and work collaboratively with teachers to achieve the best outcomes for your child and others. Those are the same skills that make a good leader.

That brings me to a pledge that I hold sacred – we will not give up on any child, regardless of family income or educational level, ethnic background, or the multitude of other obstacles that need to be overcome.  

In turn, every parent should have high expectations for his/her child and work cooperatively with teachers to help that child succeed. A parent need not know high-level math or understand education jargon to ask questions. You just need to keep the lines of communication open between parent, student, and teacher, whether your questions are about homework, classroom procedures, or a test score.

Piscataway has some amazing teachers, a dazzling array of course offerings and educational opportunities, and many avenues of academic and counseling support. I believe that teachers have answered one of the highest callings – to prepare our children for the future. They truly want your child to be successful.

Soon, you will be hearing about upcoming dates for the Breakfasts with the Superintendent, held on Saturday mornings throughout the school year at the high school. These are informal opportunities for us to talk, please join me.

The people of Piscataway are its soul and I thank the Board of Education for the opportunity to serve its children.

 

Teresa M. Rafferty