We Are Verona
Superintendent Corner Column
December 1, 2020
“Own our actions. Embrace diversity. Accept on another. Respect others. Everyone is equal. Voices are heard. Inspire excellence. Reject rumors. Include everyone. No one stands alone. We are one.”
Verona Students, Staff, Parents & Community Members, 2017
Dear Verona Community Members,
Our mission statement collectively developed by our community through the strategic planning process calls upon us “to inspire our students to be compassionate global citizens through dynamic teaching, meaningful curricula, and enriching experiences.” It has been three years since our student, staff, and parent committees established our commitment to #WeAreVerona which captures the values we hold so dear in our hearts. We are extremely grateful to our teachers, counselors, and administrators for their tireless efforts as we strive to ensure equity for all of our students in the educational experience the Verona Public Schools affords each child. There is, however, no doubt that we still have much more work ahead of us.
We believe that all students, no matter their background, can succeed. But it is up to us as deeply committed educators and community members to establish the appropriate foundation in our schools for that possibility to become a reality. We have a moral obligation to reject all forms of injustice everywhere and to educate our young students to respect the individuality of every person. We not only value, but we embrace the diversity of our students, staff, and community inclusive of all race, culture, class, and identity for the beautiful kaleidoscope that we are. We have 2,300 students in Verona, and as a result, we have 2,300 reasons to get this right.
As we embark on the next steps in our journey, it is apropos to remind ourselves of our commitment to the #WeAreVerona values. We are in the process of convening a committee of stakeholders, representative of all races, religions, and diverse backgrounds. We have an impressive number of volunteers who have expressed their preferences in our district task force for which specific subcommittee they would like to focus their work on, spread across six focus areas: Professional Development; Curriculum & Instruction; School Climate & Culture; Hiring & Recruiting; Educational Equity and Community Outreach. At the present time, we are actively seeking out a professional consultant who is skilled at facilitating groups in having these critical conversations and who specializes in organizational work centered around the important issues of equity, inclusiveness, and diversity. We are currently in conversations with several candidates who we believe will best be able to guide us in our work in these areas. Once our search process is complete, we look forward to announcing and introducing our consultant and the coordination of our launch meeting as we begin this crucial work together.
We are appreciative of our community partnership in this important endeavor. Thank you for your patience as we finalize our planning and preparation for the new year. Best wishes to you and your family and a happy holiday season to all.
All my best,
Dr. Rui Dionisio
Superintendent of Schools