The Weston Way: A Fresh Look
William S. McKersie, Ph.D.
July 1, 2016
The Weston Way. I have heard the song and legend of the Weston Way. Nice alliteration, but what does it really mean? Over my first year as Superintendent, I will be in search of the Weston Way. I will report on what I find; through the Superintendent Message on this Website, as well as through stories, photos and videos I will share regularly. By the end of the school year, I promise to share a compendium of what the Weston Way means--most importantly to our students and staff.
I already am gathering evidence to share. In one of my first meetings with Weston administrators, I asked, “What should put a kick-in-my-step about Weston?” Even though we often are a society choking on sound bites, I insisted on short statements. The responses were inspiring:
- We value the personal, being personal, knowing our students and each other.
- We strive for excellence--for being the best for our students.
- Creativity and innovation matters. We look for new ideas and approaches.
- Hard work is our norm. We relish it.
- Cohesive and connected. We are a small district where our four schools, all on one campus, give us the rare platform to be educationally coherent and attentive.
- We are a small district thinking and acting big.
- Weston graduates go out to do great work--academically, economically and socially.
- The total student is our priority. Social and emotional learning is essential.
- The Town of Weston values our schools deeply. We strive to return that support any way we can.
In a phrase, the Weston Way combines excellence and compassion. The town and school district are widely recognized for producing students of outstanding academic abilities and achievements. Simultaneously, Weston prioritizes the full developmental needs of students, guiding them to become caring and vibrant citizens.
Excellence and compassion are at the heart of my professional beliefs, values and priorities. Intellectual rigor--using one’s mind well to solve complex problems--is of the utmost importance to me. At the same time, compassion is paramount; our excellent students will be the keys to a civil, just, caring nation and world.
The Weston Way also is rooted in the technical core of effective schooling: a standards-based curriculum, robust instruction, digital tools, relevant professional learning, multiple measures of growth and achievement, and strong evaluation and feedback systems. These elements are strongest when connected by collaborative school board members, administrators, teachers, staff, parents, students, town leaders, and community. My early conclusion is that Weston brings essential cohesion to these multi-faceted elements and roles, ensuring all students have a full chance to succeed.
I am excited about the unique opportunity to lead the Weston Public Schools. My goal is guide the district to even greater heights in its mission to “empower each student to achieve success and contribute to our global society” and to serve “as a caring and supportive community.” I am honored to begin working with Weston’s talented and dedicated board members, educators, students, parents and community.
The Weston Way, here we go!