The Present vs. The Horizon

People that work closest or have gotten to know me over the last several years, recognize my affinity for quotes. Whether they are colloquialisms such as “You can’t take a donkey to the Kentucky Derby” or Aristotle’s excellence quote “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”, they provide grounding for me and opportunities for reflection. 

Recently, one of my favorite quotes has been “Stay focused on the present, but keep an eye on the horizon”. This has rattled around my brain because of the work our schools are doing right now on a variety of fronts. Facilities, academic planning, student safety and growth, human resource development, and community engagement are all areas that need short, intermediate and long-term attention. At times, in particular with facilities, this presents tension inside Fairbanks Schools. Trying to balance present needs with long-term solutions is a challenge for any organization, including a school district. 

We are always striving to improve inside and outside of the classroom. Planning for the short, intermediate, and long term is essential. Every day we want to take small steps in all areas to help establish long-term success for Fairbanks Schools. All of our staff, in particular our teachers and principals, embrace this thinking inside the classroom. The continuous improvement processes established over the last several years have led to improvement in academic options, delivery, and outcomes for our schools. This is a product of focusing on the present while having an eye on the horizon. 

It has been an exciting year across our schools. Our students and staff have stacked many accomplishments and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year. From a district lens, we have laid a foundation for our future with the passage of our November Substitute Levy and the approval of our Master Facility Plan in December. These are exciting steps for Fairbanks!

  • Adham Schirg, Fairbanks Local Schools, Superintendent

PS: If you are interested in some of our district planning, please check out the links to our Fairbanks Continuous Improvement Plan and Master Facilities Plan

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