Transition of powers, Superintendents navigating uncharted territories

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 9:41 PM CDT
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Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Dr. Brian Maher's final months in premier leadership would have gone much differently if not for the coronavirus, and the same can be said for his successor Dr. Jane Stavem. Despite the obstacles and imminent future, both school district leaders have stayed in contact during this transition.

Last week's school board meeting presented a calendar outlining an optimistic plan for the next school year. A late August start would be ideal, but current circumstances have proven hard to plan for. For now, a virtual graduation ceremony is set for May 24 with the hopes of doing a face to face ceremony in June or July.

"We're ready for two eventualities," Sioux Falls Superintendent Dr. Brian Maher said. "One is the normal start, two would be the post-labor day start. Beyond that, we're still going to need to do a lot of planning."

As one of the earlier places to have the virus hit in Kirkland, Washington, the school year typically goes a little longer than most school districts so that has presented unique challenges. One challenge that most school districts will have to overcome if things do not improve is the inability to establish personal relationships between teachers, families, and students. Dr. Maher is ready for either a normal start or possibly a start during Labor Day.

Whenever we assimilate to some a regular schedule again, Dr. Stavem says one of the things we will notice is a sense of loss from this spring.