A Letter From Our Superintendent
Dear Colleagues and Community,
It is with honor and humility that I join the entire SUSD family as our Superintendent. I am very aware of the successes inside of SUSD upon which to build even greater opportunities to provide amazing outcomes to all youth. I am also aware of the challenges from which we have learned, and that offer opportunity for improvement. I also believe firmly that both our future successes and abilities to overcome challenges will only happen when we operate as a single team. I lead by building and being part of successful teams. In addition, by having a truly collaborative and trusting culture in our District we can and will learn from each other, and we will be, in short order, a model school district in California and the Nation.
Essential to our success as a team will be two factors: not being confused about our mission, and an unshakable belief that every single student can and will be highly successful at being college, career, and community ready when they graduate from SUSD. I believe our mission is at its core: lifting youth out of poverty and the overwhelming evidence on how this is best done is through a high-quality education! In order to make unprecedented progress on this commitment, it will be necessary to have a central administration whose sole function is serving our school sites in their needs and supports at improving instruction. All our schools will be at the center of our work. Our teachers need to and will be supported by the amazing and difficult work each educator does daily. Our school leaders will be the focus of direct support in leading improvements in our schools, as colleagues and teammates. Our entire family of support staff must and will be honored and as full members of our mission as each member is supported in all their vital work. In addition, our union partners, being seated at the table of decision-making, will be full partners in this mission of educational and social justice. I look forward to working collaboratively with our Board of Education to ensure these promises, and to being a community member along with my wife, in the SUSD.
I invite all to review my entry plan, which is posted publically on our website. We all play a role in lifting our youth out of poverty and in communicating our absolute conviction that poverty is not destiny. I graciously accept all support and help in the transition to my new community, job, and opportunity to serve.
I suspect so many of us realize that June 1 sits between two dates of tragic remembrance and inspiration. The first being 50 years since the murder of Martin Luther King Jr, and the second being 50 years since the murder of Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy. Both men have taught me much and have helped shape the thinking and actions of myself as a father, educator, and leader. Among the many writings and speeches they have given, two stand out and offer a solemn framing conviction for our work as we start together.
The first is from MLK and it speaks to our responsibility for each other; every single person and youth in SUSD.
“We are tied together in a single garment of destiny … an inescapable network of mutuality … I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.”
The second is from RFK and it speaks to the power of positive and courageous action.
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve a lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice”
I trust that our mutuality and courage to stand up for others will lead us to quickly being the best school district in the West and first in the Nation.
With respect and gratitude,
John E. Deasy, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Stockton Unified School District
Adelante En Servicio!