December 21, 2017

Dear RVSD Community,

As we approach the end of 2017 and the beginning of a new year, I want to express deep gratitude on behalf of everyone here in RVSD, for allowing us the privilege of continuing to teach and be taught by your amazing children.

Wherever I go in this district, I am always inspired by what I see our students doing, what I hear them discussing and what I know they are learning.  There is evidence everywhere of student engagement, academic rigor, creativity and a thirst for moving beyond what Dr. Michael McDowell refers to as “surface” and even “deep” learning, to a place where students readily transfer their knowledge to a variety of disciplines and situations (“Rigorous PBL by Design,” 2017).  These accomplishments are the direct result of heavy lifting by many hands, from the classroom to the Board room to the living room, and all points in-between.  Regardless of our particular title or role, we share a common purpose in providing an impactful educational experience built upon high expectations, academic excellence, cultural richness, social, emotional and physical development, all designed to nurture, support, challenge and inspire our students no matter where they come from or where they are headed.

This past September our family lost my dad.  He was 86 years old, married to my mom for nearly 63 years and he had a great life.  His passing was hard and I expect it will continue to be so for a long time, but he left us with many memories and gifts I will cherish forever.  One of those gifts is something he used to say from the time I was a little boy.  My dad said, “Education is the most important thing, because once you’ve really learned something, it can be yours always.”  I’ve thought about that a lot over the years, from my first days as a teacher to today as your superintendent.  Though our work is never done and we can always improve upon everything we do, it is this notion of giving through teaching and learning that keeps me loving the great work we do together every day on behalf of our nearly 2,100 RVSD students.

And so, as we observe the celebrations of the season and share invaluable time with family and friends, let us also celebrate the special time on this brief journey we travel together, giving our children the education that will be theirs to keep always.  There can be no greater gift.

My very best to you and your families this holiday season, in the new year and always.  The Board and I look forward to seeing you in 2018!

In gratitude,

Rick E. Bagley, Ed.D.

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