I was honored in January 2014 to be appointed by the Newtown Board of Education as their new superintendent.
When I had the opportunity to thank the school board, I chose my words carefully and shared with all in attendance that my short and long term plan would be to always respect the past, work hard in the present, and with the entire community, plan the future.
I have used this simple credo to intrinsically challenge my work every day since my arrival to Newtown in April 2014.
I have a passion for children and opportunity.
I feel strongly that the power of outstanding teaching and learning must take place in a safe and secure environment.
I worry about safety daily.
This district must make a difference one student, staff member, and parent at a time. This district, like all districts, must be able to impact not most or many, but every student, staff member, and parent.
In the ever-changing landscape of Public School America, there remains one constant pertaining to safety: the absolute best plan is always a plan in progress. Incrementally, every community must work towards completing their plan; however, I would worry about any district who believes their work is complete.
How well do we know our most complex students and staff? How well do we know our most complex parents and community members? How well do we know our emergency protocols? How hard have we worked to harden our buildings?
I would reach out to every school leader across the country and ask each of you to never ever get comfortable with safety. Always challenge all entities of your district with best practice……..all of the time.
Dr. Joseph V. Erardi, Superintendent of Schools, Newtown, CT