From the Superintendent's Desk

As we conclude the school year at Ravenna Public Schools, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of the people who have made this school year so successful and meaningful for our students. The Community of Ravenna has been incredibly supportive of the school and supportive of the activities program at the school. Over the course of the year, I have been very impressed with the parents’ support and encouragement of their students. Whether it is while they are supporting the activities program, attending parent teachers conferences, or attending fine arts events, they are always positive and supportive. Our teachers and support staff have kept things flowing smoothly and consistently deliver high quality instruction, transportation, meals, and care for all of the students. Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to thank the staff of The Ravenna News. They provide outstanding coverage of the students’ activities and school events, generously allow us to publish this newsletter each month, and continuously strive to provide accurate reporting of our board meetings and the business operations of the school. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to making this school year such a success!

This past month, I had the great honor of traveling to Louisville, KY, to watch five students from Ravenna Public Schools compete in the VEX Worlds Robotic Competition. These students represented Ravenna Public Schools and the state of Nebraska very well. They were polite. They worked well together. They were competitive among the best robotics teams in the state, in the nation, and in the world.

During the opening ceremonies for the event, the competitors and spectators heard from some very influential and very powerful people in the technology industry. Many of these industry leaders stressed to the students the importance of learning coding, math, and science. Students were encouraged to develop strong “soft skills” that would help them be good team members and to learn to work cooperatively with others. The message from the various presenters became repetitious, almost to the point of numbing. Learn math. Learn science. Learn coding.

Then, one of these industry leaders encouraged the students to do something far different. Dream. He made the point that when Steven Job’s first came to his design team at Apple with the idea of a cell phone made out of glass, that he was laughed at, called crazy, and that he was certainly describing the impossible. We all know how this story ends. Mr. Jobs wasn’t crazy. He wasn’t asking the impossible. He created one of the most successful products ever known. He realized his dream.

It was a lesson I needed to be reminded of. As a parent and as an educator, I often encourage my own children and our students to be “realistic” and to be “practical.” History has shown that creativity, ingenuity, and dreaming are what solve some our greatest problems and lead to our greatest inventions, not math, science, or coding. As Carl Sandburg once so aptly wrote, “Nothing happens unless first we dream.” Please continue to encourage your children to dream and I promise to do the same.