Friday, January 25, 2013

“I Accept this Award on Behalf of…..”


My acceptance speech after receiving Forward Janesville’s
“Woman of Excellence Award” on January 24, 2013
 

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act, it is a habit.” - Aristotle.
Five years ago, the School District of Janesville embarked on a Journey of Excellence.  A previous School Board, some who are still on the board today, had a vision to create an educational system based on excellence,  accountability and transparency. Board President Bill Sodemann, who was a member of that School Board, is with us today.  Using a model developed by Quint Studer, the School District of Janesville embarked on this journey.  The current School Board continues that vision as we strive to be the best school district in the state, in the country and in the world. I am in good company here today, as I share honors with companies such as PRENT and their CEO Joe Pregont, whose company is the best in the world at what they do.
As the School District of Janesville has embraced the habit of excellence over these past five years, we have received a number of awards and accolades.  Kennedy Elementary School received the national blue ribbon award – the first time in the history of the School District of Janesville a school has received this honor.  Parker High School was selected as one of the best high schools in the nation by US World and News report, a first for the School District of Janesville high school.  Our Chinese program at Harrison, Roosevelt and Madison Elementary Schools as well as Edison and Marshall Middle Schools was selected as one of the best in the nation.  The School District of Janesville has also received numerous state and individual awards.  I am proud of these accomplishments, but more importantly I am proud that our students are achieving at such a high standard.  I know that our students must be ready for college or technical school when they graduate, ready for jobs that may not have been created yet. Our students must also be globally competitive and comfortable living in today’s connected world.
Many of you know I just returned from China. While there, our American students spoke to Chinese students via Skype.  This was the beginning of a video conferencing relationship where we will learn and collaborate together. I have watched and observed many people in China and those that are most successful in daily operations are those that know the culture, the language and are as comfortable in China as they are in the United States. 
I accept this award today on behalf of my School Board who holds me to a very high standard of accountability.  I accept this award on behalf of my cabinet, many who are here today.  I accept this award on behalf of my wonderful teachers and employees. I accept this award on behalf of those people who support and love me no matter what; my friends and my family.  I have my husband here, Steve Schulte, and my older son Nick. They are my foundation.  They are the ones that see me at my worst and still love and care about me. This award, born by the habit of pursuing excellence on a daily basis,  belongs to all of you who are accompanying me on my journey.
Thank you.

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