“The Twelve Days of Christmas” counts out in a cumulative fashion a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the 12 days of Christmas. This famous carol celebrates family, gratitude, joy and love. As I listen to this historic and fun Christmas carol, I am reminded, professionally, of the many grand attributes and benefits of working and serving in Glenbard Township High School District 87. So let's count down (or sing about) the 12 amazing characteristics of Glenbard District 87:
1. Strong school board: Each of our seven members is dedicated, attentive to their roles, judicious with resources and diligent about representing all constituents.
2. Fiscally stable: Through many years of careful budgeting, we have a balanced budget, do not need to borrow to meet cash flow requirements and have achieved a solvency position for eight years in a row.
3. Exemplary teaching staff and committed support staff: We are fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated teaching force who are both experts in their respective content areas and pros at engaging students with best teaching practices. Our support staff members are knowledgeable, dedicated, caring individuals who guide, encourage and empower our students.
4. Dedicated coaches and sponsors: We are fortunate to have top-notch staff to serve as mentors and oversee our students in a variety of after-school programs, sports and activities.
5. Instructional excellence: Our students stretch themselves academically, and our teachers provide academic supports through writing and math centers, Advanced Placement learning centers, after-school homework help, lunchtime assistance and more.
6. Engaged learning with technology: We are a 1:1 district, with all students using iPads as their learning tool. Through increased use of technology, our students are building skills in the areas of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. Students are engaged in projects and lessons that would not be possible without technology.
7. Facilities upgrades: Thanks to the community's support of our $35 million referendum in 2014, we are well on our way to completing the $100 million worth of infrastructure upgrades, which include mechanical systems, roofs, parking lots and more.
8. Effective partnerships with sender districts: Our partnership with six elementary districts is resulting in productive collaboration, sharing of best teaching practices and success for students as they make the transition from eighth to ninth grade.
9. Good relationships with local municipal governments: Summer sports camps, experienced police liaison officers, specialized library programs, pro-business taxing agreements and shared use of park district facilities are just a few examples of our strong relationships with the towns with whom we work.
10. Service organization support: The many Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions clubs in our community regularly model service and leadership for our students by partnering in a myriad of service projects and fundraisers.
11. Parent organization support: Each of our high schools has a cadre of dedicated parents who give up considerable time with their families to volunteer on behalf of our schools. Through numerous fundraisers, they provide significant financial resources for academic and sports programs.
12. Amazing students: I am continually impressed with our students’ skills, creativity, perseverance, character and passion.
Yes, as we pause during this busy holiday season, the 12 attributes of Glenbard District 87 stir joy and thankfulness in my heart. I am fortunate to serve in such an outstanding school district.
David F. Larson is the superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.