To Southwest Valley High School staff, students, parents and communities:
Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! My name is Jamie Craig, and I will be serving as high school principal. I have met many wonderful people in my first few days in the district, and look forward to people arriving at school in the next few days.
Much of the recent education discussion has centered around preparing students for a 21st century economy. The focus question I have been using comes from the new School Administrators of Iowa executive director Roark Horn (Twitter: @roarkhorn): “Can our students do what they want to do when they leave us?” There are many opportunities available to students here at Southwest Valley High School, but another new piece of data from IowaWORKS (formerly Iowa Workforce Development) shows that jobs requiring skills acquired through technical, 2-year, or 4-year degrees far outnumber the qualified candidate pool. Conversely, the number of jobs requiring skills earned with a high school diploma is far less than the qualified candidate pool. This creates both a dilemma for students and the school: are we preparing students for the work they want to do after high school, and are students planning ahead to take advantage of the opportunities provided for them during high school?
Another quote I heard this summer was, “inch by inch, life’s a cinch; yard by yard, life is hard.” Getting to a high school diploma and going to work or post-secondary education is more of a struggle now than it has ever been for students, staff, and families alike. As we start the year I hope that we can breathe, take things step by step, and achieve the goals we all have for success. I know that I will have to go slow as I experience an entire new set of “firsts” in my career, but I also know that I am not alone. I encourage you to contact me anytime via email or phone at school to ask questions, share concerns, or celebrate victories along the way. I look forward to learning and growing with you as part of the Southwest Valley community. Let’s have a great year – GO TIMBERWOLVES!
Southwest Valley High School