Superintendent's Message 2022-23
Celebrating Outstanding Educators
Over the past 3 years, Rock Island-Milan School District #41 has worked to ensure that our educators would receive special recognition for the incredible impact that they have had on our entire student population. Last year, we were finally able to celebrate them in person at the Educator of the Year Gala.
Drum roll, please. The nominations are in and the winners for the 2023 Educator of the Year are...
- Denkmann Elementary School - Kristin Banks
- Earl Hanson Elementary School - Beth Ann "Beth" Raygor
- Eugene Field Elementary School- Tyler Allison
- Frances Willard Elementary School - Carissa Boyd
- Longfellow Liberal Arts - David "Dave" Terronez
- Ridgewood Elementary School - Mara Goodvin
- Rock Island Academy - Amanda Schaubroeck
- Rock Island Center for Math & Science -Elisha Horn
- Thomas Jefferson Elementary School - Dean VanVooren
- Edison Jr. High School -Amanda Weber
- Washington Jr. High School -Jazmin Taylor
- Rock Island High School- Michelle Greenwood
- Thurgood Marshall Learning Center- Janice Gbenyo
- Horace Mann- Jennifer "Jenny" Purvis
- The educator must have taught for at least five years.
- The educator must have evidenced exemplary skills in instructing children/young adults.
- The educator must strongly believe that all children/young adults can and will learn.
- The educator has continually shown evidence of self-motivation in seeking and engaging in professional growth activities for the purpose of improving and/or enhancing his or her educational offerings to children/young adults.
- The educator makes teaching and learning rigorous and exciting for children/young adults.
I have loved reading each educator's nomination letter and hearing about the impact they have not only on their school but their community. I am looking forward to celebrating with them, their families, and their coworkers! The Educator of the Year Gala will be held on Friday, April 14, 2023, at the Stern Center. This year we are opening up the event to everyone in the district who would like to attend, so stay tuned for more details.
If you see these honorees around be sure to give them a BIG congratulations!
The Rock Island High School expansion serves not only as a much-needed resource for students but also as a continued bridge between our school and our Rock Island community. We are dedicated to improving the city of Rock Island and opening our doors to welcome the entire community.
This project is an example of when we work on behalf of our students, the whole community benefits. Thank you to all who made this amazing high school expansion possible.
Lastly, today wraps up National School Counseling Week. If you haven't yet, please take the time to say thank you to our amazing counselors. Thank you RIMSD counselors, the work you do with and for our students is life-changing! If you're successful in your own career as an adult, you've been impacted by a great counselor.
Have a great weekend.
Let us not forget, February is Black History Month!
During the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month. I know many of our classes and schools will celebrate with writing activities, workshops, storytelling, art projects, performances, etc.
Grateful for you
As this is the last RI-Milan Lines before we head into Thanksgiving break, it only seems fitting to thank each of you for your hard work and persistence in providing all students with a quality education in the Rock Island- Milan School District! RIMSD41 has many things to be thankful for as an organization. The high quality of our educational offerings, community events, sporting, and co-curricular activities are a few to name.
But as superintendent, the single most important thing I am thankful for is the highly dedicated and compassionate educational professionals, who walk the halls and the classrooms of our great schools. It does not matter what job title you have in the district, we are all educators in our own way.
Nowadays, school districts do more than just provide education to our students. On top of teaching, we’re expected to feed them, provide technology, support their social-emotional needs, and the list goes on.
I know all of this can be exhausting, but I’m proud of the work we do and the support we provide to our students and families. While it’s a thankless job, I want you to know your work does not go unnoticed. THANK YOU!
I wish you and your families a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Giving Back to Our Community
One of the things I am most proud of about our district is our efforts to give back to the community. There were plenty of examples of this highlighted this week.
Augustana College President Talentino presented a or $2,844 check to the Rocky Resource Room. Funds were raised during her post-inauguration street party and she personally chose the Resource Room as the recipient of those donations after seeing the community need we meet. The Resource Room serves all students and their families in our district.
This is the second year the high school is hosting its Giving Tree, where students and their families who might need some extra assistance with gifts this holiday season can sign up to receive help. The Giving Tree committee is looking for people to sponsor a student or family in some way. If you would like to help sign up here.
Lastly, there is one more week left of the Student Hunger Drive, I encourage all of you if you haven't already please consider donating. The Student Hunger Drive helps feed families right here in our community. Several of our schools have come up with some creative ways to collect donations. Rocky made the news yesterday for its "Hot Shakes Challenge." Staff members tasted hot sauce while reading Shakespeare. To watch, audience members had to make a donation to the Student Hunger Drive.
It's important for us to teach our students the importance of giving back. Students will gain a sense of purpose by serving those around them, which often can manifest in other areas of their life. And for the students who are receiving the "giving back," it can inspire them to give back to others later in life.
I'm proud of the work we do and the kind and caring future leaders we are molding.
Rocky Resource Coordinator Kathy Lelonek, RIHS Principal Jeff Whitaker, and
Augustana College President Andrea Talentino
- Work on yourself every day
- Understand what you do and don’t control (think, say, feel, do)
- Do not become a prisoner in your own mind
- Do not let your past define your future
While this is a set time we schedule every year to meet with our parents it should not be the ONLY time we are communicating with parents. Building relationships with parents is just as important. We should have consistent communication with our parents. It doesn’t always have to be about the bad stuff either. If you had a student who was a really big helper or went out of their way to do something nice for a classmate it’s nice to send a little message to parents to let them know their child did something great.
• ROCKSTAR STAFF - Last year our district CQ team led staff through a series of sessions about anti-bias, inclusivity, and equity with a nationwide leader in the field, Paul Forbes. We held our first Educator of the Year Teacher Gala in person last April where we recognized teachers for the great work they are doing in and out of the classroom. Our Family Engagement Team was in full force last year Ready to Rock; Summer Enrichment Focus with Community Partners and working with Kiwanis on the annual school supply drive. The Partners in Education (P.I.E.) created a grassroots-level system to get parents involved in schools.
• ACADEMICS - Our 2020-21 Graduation rate went up from the previous year to 79%. From our district Strategic Plan report, we anticipate that to increase to over 80%. There were 420 students who crossed the stage at the Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony at the Tax Slayer Center. Those 420 individuals earned $3.4 million in college scholarships and funding, devoted 1,750 volunteer hours in the community, led sports teams to victory, and/or found their calling with a career in a trade. The AVID program is benefiting many students at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels. It is a college readiness system that prepares students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college eligibility and success.
• Safety focus-All school renovations include restructured entrances to limit access to buildings. All persons will have to go through the main office before gaining access to school. We have also installed security cameras and updated intercom systems. In addition, there will be a new key fob system to manage those who have access to the building. We have also added a new position - District Safety Manager - who will focus solely on safety structures and practices across the entire district.
We are gearing up for the 2022-23 school year and just held in-person registration at the Fieldhouse earlier this week on Wednesday and Thursday. This is our second time using one location to assist families to get their child registered and overall it went smoothly! Special SHOUT to all the staff who helped make it happen!
receive updates for the new school year!