Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
Nearly 49 years after an assassin took the life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Perry Township Schools strives to keep his dream alive. We support diversity and inclusion, and we strive to create a culture that celebrates our differences because we believe our diversity is one of our strengths.
In fact, as our enrollment grows, we pride ourselves on providing a safe, welcoming community to many immigrant families. We have 4,763 English learning students who represent 67 different countries and 73 different languages. While 49.7 percent of our students identify as white, the remaining 50.3 percent identify as Asian, Hispanic, black, American Indian, Native Hawaiian or multiracial. We are proud to count these students and their families among our neighbors and friends.
On Jan. 9 we were pleased to host a special celebration program in honor of Dr. King. It was a reflection of our community’s values and his vision. It was a time of genuine fellowship and a sincere expression of respect.
One of the highlights of this annual celebration, organized by the department of student services, was the awards ceremony, which honored those who personify the “dream.” We were inspired to see students of all grade levels receive awards for original art, poetry and essays. We also used this meaningful occasion to recognize the leaders who make a difference in our district and the broader Perry community.
As we all know, it takes a village to raise, teach and guide our children. We are thankful to have so many partners within our village, and when we can, we like to show appreciation to them.
We were pleased to recognize Barnes & Noble as the recipient of the 2017 Community Affairs Award. Barnes & Noble generously supports our schools by giving our students books to take home and enjoy. The bookstore also hosts reading-centered activity days at their Greenwood location, during which a portion of the sales are donated to a designated Perry Township School. We are sincerely grateful for their investment in our kids.
We are also fortunate to have Friedens United Church of Christ among our village of supporters. We awarded Pastor Sarah Haas the Humanitarian Award for her work in our Early Childhood Academy. She regularly reads stories and leads activities with our preschool students. Her messages always focus on friendship, love and acceptance.
At the celebration we also took the opportunity to recognize our employees who lead by example. The Perry Pioneer Awards were given to Kenneth Haupt, who tirelessly supports our student services department by providing direction to students and families as the expulsion hearing examiner, and Kenneth George for his outstanding work as a member of our safety committee within our facilities and grounds department.
The Director’s Service Awards were given to Jane Pollard for leading our growing English learners department and Christina Gliva for her leadership and guidance as assistant principal of Jeremiah Gray Elementary School.
Dr. King’s dream is still a work in progress. Perry Township Schools is proud to do its part to realize his vision by proactively prioritizing diversity, inclusion and community service for the betterment of our schools and neighborhoods.