Superintendent's Message, Jan. 11, 2019
Dear friends and neighbors:About this time 10 years ago, a good friend and mentor, Dr. Paul Sjunnesen, urged me to consider becoming a candidate for superintendent of Everett Public Schools. I was intrigued, and after considerable research and thought, did as he suggested. I’ve never regretted it, not even for a moment.
The more I learned about the strength and values of this district, this community’s support for schools, the astounding staff, and the incredible board and leadership team, the more I knew it was the right fit. I was deeply impressed by the district’s and community’s pervasive commitment to act on behalf of kids. That community-wide commitment is alive and well today, and I remain impressed by it and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.
Those compelling emotions and pride in the district’s students and staff are fresh in my mind as I announced today that I will retire as superintendent at the close of this year.
Of all that I’ve done in other places, in concert with other wonderful colleagues, I will forever be most proud of what staff, families, students, and this community have accomplished together here in the last decade through acting upon core values of learning, equity, integrity, passion, respect, diversity and collaboration.
Time with students in this role as superintendent has been precious and deeply rewarding. Heading into the 2019 legislative session, I’ll have one last time to work with student leaders from our high schools as they advocate for our district’s students. These annual trips to Olympia with students are a highlight for me – and for the legislators who get to meet with the students you’ve helped ready for these impressive sessions. Our kids do our community proud as credible, articulate advocates for K-12 education.
During Student Summits, students’ waffle breakfasts, meetings with our student school board reps and ASB leaders, and my 10 years of Wednesday visits to classrooms, I see our students’ potential for bright futures and how community involvement has made these futures possible. They and the incredible staff supporting them have “made my day” again and again. Today I remain as deeply committed to our work as I was that first day in 2009. And I am looking forward to the remaining months of my time in Everett Public Schools as much as I did the first months.
This link takes you to a bird’s eye view of the last 10 years. It will be a walk down memory lane for some and a lot of new information for others. This 10-year summary of achievements is possible only because everyone in the organization and in the community played well their key roles – no matter how big or small they might appear to the casual observer. These accomplishments are a testament that the Everett Way is tangible, alive and powerfully visible in our schools and support facilities. It is making a world of difference for our students’ futures and for the economic and social resilience of our community.
During the next five months, our school board will conduct a process to recruit and select a new superintendent, who likely will begin July 1. I have no doubt that person will be drawn to the strength of our community and the remarkable talent of this staff, as was I. And I am confident that person will rely heavily on community support and quality staff, just as I have.
Here’s to that future; to a strong finish to 2018-19, and to new beginnings and continuously improving what we bring to our kids each and every day they look to us for a brighter future.
Gary Cohn, Superintendent