Thursday, November 14, 2013


Guest Blogger: Dr. Stephen Sperry, Director of Administrative and Human Resources

How will you be remembered as an employee in the School District of Janesville?

In society today, those of us in education seem to have a target on us as we face many challenges. In the School District of Janesville, we have been faced with challenges also.  We are no different than others in education throughout our State and Nation.

So how do we as employees in education respond to those who criticize us as they continue to throw negatives our way as we face challenges?  I believe we need to ask ourselves if we are proud to be working in education.  Are we proud to be working in Janesville? Our district data suggests we are proud to tell people where we work.

WI Schools of Recognition (2013): Edison Middle, Franklin Middle, Jackson Ele., Jefferson Ele., Lincoln Ele., Madison Ele., Roosevelt Ele.
US News and World Report - Silver Medalists: Craig and Parker High Schools
National Blue Ribbon School (2011): Kennedy Elementary
Asia Society Confucius Classroom: One of the top 100 Chinese classrooms in the nation.
Top accountability Score in Rock County 2012
Top accountability score of the ten largest schools in Wisconsin

If we are proud then we need to have a strong conviction to our profession as we respond to those who live in a negative world.  I am referring to those who always believe the glass is half empty rather than half full.  Those who make excuses rather than those who listen and then collaboratively problem solve. We need to remind ourselves as well as others why we chose to work in education. From my standpoint, I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives as I am sure that is why you selected the job you are in. Once we remember why we decided to do what we do, we need to stand tall and be bold as we respond to our critics.  We need to be respectful and polite and not defensive or angry as we respond.  We need to be well informed by being attentive listeners, and taking the time to read communications through building communication Boards and the Superintendent’s Blog.
Each of us needs to stand tall with the nay sayers from within our own organization and demonstrate a high degree of trust, character and professionalism.  This should also be transferred into our social settings whether it is at the athletic club, service club, church or elsewhere.  Some individuals love to remind us of how poorly we are doing in education. Those individuals must be living under a rock as we are celebrating many accomplishments within the School District of Janesville as was shared earlier.  Also, we all need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and stop feeling sorry for the challenges in education. Stop finding reasons to be divided; each person in the School District of Janesville should be proud of the role you serve in this organization. The School District of Janesville will be viewed in a more positive manner when we believe in what we are doing and what we are accomplishing.

Remind yourself of what a Great Profession we work in. The education of our children begins with the bus driver with the smile on his/her face as they bring our children to school, it continues with the custodian maintaining a clean building and showing our children a caring attitude, with our food service workers providing a nutritional breakfast and lunch when children stomachs may be empty, with our aides being that friendly face and supportive person who somehow touches the life of even the most challenging child, with our secretaries who meet parents with a smile on their face even when the parent is upset, with the maintenance worker who provides the necessary heating and cooling within our facilities, with our assistants who work behind the scenes providing administrative services to all employees, with support services who work with the physically, mentally and socially challenged students, and with teachers who reach all students instructionally and socially inside and outside of the classroom.

All School District of Janesville employees provide a comprehensive educational system that can’t be beat.  Together we can face any challenge head on and work through it.  Combined we can make a difference and bring down the critics of education.  

Reflect upon the following personal question, how will “I” be remembered as an employee of the School District of Janesville?

Our children, parents and community members are watching our every move and evaluating our performance. We are all in the public’s eyes.  Let’s take advantage of this, let’s be remembered as employees who work together for the common cause by providing children with great experiences throughout their time in our system.

Let’s all strive for someday having a child tell you that YOU were their hero when they were a student in Janesville. You make a difference in children’s lives each and every day.  Never underestimate the role you play as an employee in the School District of Janesville.


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