Each year as I head back to school, like many superintendents, I work with my team to create a back to school theme. This year in Anoka Hennepin our theme is “Rock Stars.” This theme links the challenging job our staff have of performing in front of a crowd every day, under all sorts of conditions to the work that musicians do.
We used this theme in our back to school video, recording a rewrite of “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO) that showcased our middle school music teachers performing and lyrics that highlighted the excellent work our staff do each day. We also included a group of students from across the district singing a rewrite of “You Aint’ Seen Nothing Yet” also by BTO, reminding the world that the best of our students is yet to come. It was a fun video showcasing staff and students in Rock and Roll fashion.
An added bonus this year was the inclusion of Kat Perkins, a Midwest singer who was a finalist on the television show “The Voice.” The daughter and granddaughter of educators, Kat has a passion for teaching and helping students. Kat was willing to be the lead singer in our video, provide the inspirational message for our leaders and also speak at our district wide convocation event.
Kat’s message inspired me enough that I have repeated it several times. From her song “Fearless” she shares “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” It was a call for all of us to take on those challenges that are the toughest to face. Too often the safest, least controversial path keeps us from moving forward, prevents us from making progress for our staff and most importantly our students.
It is an honor to serve as president for the 2019-20 school year. If I can be a resource for any of you, please contact me. I think all of our state’s superintendents are rock stars. Be fearless in the pursuit of excellence for our students.