As a public school district, we hold a great deal of responsibility for ensuring that we adequately prepare our students for success after they leave our pre-K-12 system.
While we continue to show great growth in the academic arenas, what I am most proud of is the work that is done on a daily basis by our staff – teachers, support staff, coaches and administrators – to build character that will lead our students to success.
Durango works hard to ensure its students are prepared with critical character and life skills to support their academic strengths. Our Board of Education has outlined key areas in its second Results Policy that require our district to keep these important factors front and center in our work. Respect, responsibility and perseverance are critical to anyone’s success in our society today. Whether it’s through modeling by our staff, reinforcing positive character in school programs or recognizing students through a variety of means, success is clearly more than academic achievement.
Our kids come to school today with many pressures that are quite different than anything many of us dealt with growing up. Whether it’s pressure from social media, financial challenges or models that play out in our society that define “normal,” our kids receive many different messages and feel lots of pressure about who they need to be, how they need to look or how they need to act. If we rely on role models in the media, we are definitely in trouble! I believe Durango 9-R, and all the educational entities in Durango, employ the real role models who will shape our future.
At the beginning of the year, I challenged all 9-R staff to find the hero inside and inspire our students. As the saying goes, “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” All of us can think of a teacher or someone who worked in our school who had a positive impact on our lives. Our educators have an opportunity each and every day to be a source of inspiration, while modeling civility, respect and responsibility – a role that is taken very seriously.
As I’ve attended sporting events over the past two months, I witnessed our athletes displaying high levels of respect and perseverance. Whether it’s our football team marching on the field with our VFW honoring our country, our soccer players holding their heads high when faced with adversity, our student government volunteering to rake leaves in the community or our band congratulating other schools who placed ahead of them, our kids continue to show high levels of character and model what can be positive about our society today.
I’m proud to live here in Durango and appreciate the hard work of the Durango 9-R team, as well as in schools across our community. Our future is bright, as we together raise children who understand that the content of their characters is equally as important as the knowledge and skills they possess.
Email Durango School District 9-R Superintendent Dan Snowberger at DSnowberger@durango. k12.co.us.