IWCS superintendent bids farewell

Published 9:53 am Friday, June 12, 2015

Greetings, IWCS family:

Welcome to the last week of the 2015-2016 school year! We have officially made it to the moment that we have worked hard for — but one that I have dreaded for months. Saying farewell is bittersweet for me as I think back over the last four years that I have had the honor of serving as superintendent. I am so proud of the amount of progress that I have witnessed since 2011. We have certainly come a long way and I owe it all to each of you. It is because of the wonderful teachers, staff, administrators, school board members, students and parents that are genuinely dedicated to this school division that we have been able to accomplish so much in a short amount of time.

We raised the On-Time Graduation Rate to 93 percent and surpassed the state average. We maintained accreditation at all of our schools. We narrowed the achievement gaps and raised test scores, which allowed us to reap national and state recognition. We earned the ranking of 15th out of 134 school divisions in Virginia. These accomplishments and continuous improvement efforts reflect the perseverance that has taken place over the last four years. I admire how Isle of Wight County Schools has remained focused on improvement and finding ways to leverage our resources to continue our mission of preparing all students for educational excellence. Each of you took pride in understanding that educating our community’s most precious resource — our children.

Each of you have remained engaged in teaching and learning right up until the very end and it shows. This year, we have made great strides in preparing all of our students to be successful in the 21st-century through transformative learning by personalizing it, allowing for problem-solving, making it relevant, making it authentic, utilizing eLearning resources, helping to facilitate rigorous activities, allowing students to be creative, and by collaborating with effective educators across the school division. Our iSLE21 program, our Instructional Framework and our 2015 Strategic Plan have served as our road map to navigate a path that has not always been an easy one. Whether it was state mandates, budget constraints, challenging each other, working through concerns, clarifying communication, or embracing new technology we met every challenge head on — and we did it together. Regardless of the school or department, we each have a part in making a positive difference in the lives of all IWCS students because we are all IWCS.

As I prepare to transition from being a proud IWCS SHS Packer mom to a crazy LSU Tiger mom, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely express my appreciation to all those teachers who personally had a hand in preparing my daughters for their next chapter of education. Truly, my appreciation goes to all — I will forever value and treasure my time here in Isle of Wight County Schools. Words cannot truly capture how full my heart is as I send out this final message as your superintendent.

For those who are retiring this year, I want to thank you for your years of dedicated service. You have been the backbone of this school division and we are better because of your dedicated service. I would also like to thank all of our parents who continue to be actively involved in the education of their children. You play a valuable role in your child’s academics and your support of our school division has certainly contributed to our success. I would be remiss if I did not includ a big congratulations to the Class of 2015. This is your moment to reach higher and take on the global world.

Lastly, I wish each of you a relaxing, safe and fun summer. Take this time to re-energize and reflect as you prepare to embark upon a new phase in the pursuit of educational excellence. I wish you all continued success — and as we say along the bayous — ‘Til I see you some mo’!

Yours always in education,
Dr. A. Katrise Perera