A letter from new Richland 1 chief Craig Witherspoon
First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the members of the Richland One Board of Commissioners for appointing me the next Superintendent of the Richland One School District. As I have shared throughout the process, I look forward to leading the charge to ensure all students of the school system are equipped with the skills and tools needed to be successful in their future endeavors and that the experience in the school system is a value add on this path.
As I have also shared with you, the Board of Commissioners, and other stakeholders through the process, I have demonstrated success improving student outcomes and organizational effectiveness and efficiencies that have well served communities and stakeholders, especially students and parents, who I consider to be the most important, in a school system’s core business of teaching and learning. Those successes include a 24-point increase in the graduation rate (55% - 79%), the doubling of the number of Advanced Placement test takers (713 to 1418), the introduction of rigorous curricula, and the implementation of a 1:1 laptop program in a prior district, to name a few. Given these and other accomplishments as well as the feedback that I have received thus far, I know that by working together, the brightest days for the Richland One School System are definitely ahead of us!
I look forward to sharing with the Board my entry plan that will be centered on a “Listening and Learning” tour that will include multiple town halls, individual and group/organization meetings, internal and external, to share a vision of student success and community engagement to make that happen! That said, I would respectfully ask that any such forum be postponed until my official entry into the district. By doing this, again, the focus can be on students and their success moving forward.
In the meantime, I would also ask that you and members of the Board feel free to share these accomplishments listed above as well as others, to assure the community that I indeed have the best interest of the students of Richland One in mind as we progress. This will allow us to all be on the same page as we move forward. I will also follow up with Chairwoman Harris and the entire Board regarding the entry plan and the upcoming transition in the very near future. Again, I thank you all for the opportunity to serve.