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Important Message from Superintendent Oquist

Good Afternoon LPS Colleagues and Community,

I write to you at the end of a week which has brought strife and sadness to the hearts and minds of many within our school community, following the tragic death of George Floyd, the aftermath of which has continued to unfold throughout our nation. For some, the focus has been on talking and sharing a passionate message with others about the injustices before us in our country. For others, the focus has been on listening, learning and leaning in to better understand.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
~ Maya Angelou

For many years, this has been an impactful message to me as a leader. Never more so than now.

In a conversation with a colleague today, he shared, “The only thing I ask of others is that they lead with an open mind and an open heart.” How impactful it would be if the interactions between individuals throughout our world followed this mantra? The intention of our Community with Character work within our district is to bring this forth as a foundation of our interactions with one another.

Over the past two years, our district’s Engagement in Equity committee has worked to better understand the needs of all our students, specifically our students of color. The events that have transpired over these past days have shown us the importance of this work continuing, and growing.

In our work, we have engaged in dialogue that has spanned a continuum surrounding the remarkable responsibility we have within our school community. Our responsibility to be places where every child, parent and member of our staff is welcomed and cared for; is treated with dignity and respect; is valued and understood for the individual they are. This past year, our work extended into ongoing training with Dr. Virginia Winters and Dr. Alyn Moore from Wayne County RESA, who have facilitated our learning and our dialogue in very powerful ways. We are eager to move forward together so as we know better, we do better.

“Far too often, people think of themselves as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

We seek the opportunity to learn, grow and make meaningful change that supports the wonderful and amazing students entrusted to us, because each step taken within ourselves, within our community, strengthens us all.

My sincere regards,
Andrea Oquist, Superintendent