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Maize USD 266's successful future hinged on multiple voices, perspectives

Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Maize Schools Before the first day of school this year, all of our employees met together to kick off the year. Among our orders of business was to honor our colleagues who have reached major milestones in their service to Maize USD 266. This year alone, employees who have reached their 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, or 35th year of service total a staggering 1,830 years of service!
I want to give a special thanks to Maize South Elementary School 1st-grade teacher Linda RobillardMaize South Middle School psychologist Edie Burklund, and Maize High Schoolhearing impaired instructor Melinda Smeltzer, who each reached their 35th-year milestone, the longest milestone honored this year.
Clearly, we have impressive wisdom, experience, and expertise in our district, a benefit for our students and community. There are a couple of key initiatives underway that emphasize the value our district places on various ideas and perspectives. These efforts are vital to me as a superintendent, as I prefer to lead, not just manage. And leadership, often, has much to do with listening.
This fall we have launched Lead Within, a new internal program with two objectives: to provide sustained, focused professional learning opportunities for teachers who desire to lead from the classroom, and to provide opportunities for teacher leaders to make meaningful contributions to the work of their school. I am thrilled about the possibilities for this group and how its members, a dozen of our teachers, will continue to help Maize USD 266 connect, learn, and lead. It is exciting to think about how many teachers in the near future will have honed their leadership skills to more effectively improve teaching and learning for the students and teachers they work with.
Also in the works right now is a 360-degree superintendent evaluation. Maize Board of Education members want to hear from employees, students, parents, and community members regarding how you think I am doing. As the survey asks, what are some areas I can continue to build on, and what are some things I can focus on improving this year? Please check your e-mail for details on how you can participate via the Thoughtexchange platform. Thank you for your honest feedback. Participation is anonymous. The survey closes Sept. 26.
Some decisions that need to be made for a school district are difficult ones, involving complex issues surrounding finances, curriculum, and safety, among other topics. I appreciate the voices and perspectives from across our OneMa1ze community to help ensure that even the difficult decisions are the best possible decisions for the sake of our students.
Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
Share your feedback

If you are a Maize USD 266 parent, employee, student in grades 7 through 12, and/or community or business member in the OneMa1ze community, you are invited to share your feedback in the 360-degree superintendent evaluation via Thoughtexchange. Please check your e-mail for an invitation to participate. If you did not receive one, please call the Maize Educational Support Center at 316-722-0614 or e-mail Communications Director Lori O'Toole Buselt at Thank you!