Monday, June 8, 2015

Look Out Texas, Here Comes Kansas

Superintendent Tom Trigg is leaving Blue Valley School District to be the superintendent in Highland Park, Texas.  Look out Texas, here comes Kansas.  If Tom is able to do for Texas what he has done for Kansas, the state might just become something to emulate.

Most educators know what a great job the Blue Valley district does of educating students.  The district is always rated high for student achievement and excellent graduates. Blue Valley is a district that could rest on its laurels but never does.  Most also know the personal awards and recognition Tom has received, including Kansas Superintendent of the Year.  Kansas, of course, has many great districts and superintendents.

What sets Tom apart is that since becoming superintendent in Blue Valley, he has also worked to improve education for all Kansas students.  The easy road would have been to isolate the district and say that BVSD has little in common with the rest of the state.  Tom took the hard road, learning about districts all over the state by being active on the Council of Superintendents and with Kansas professional associations.  He built bridges between all Kansas schools by finding commonalities instead of differences. KASB benefitted as well, when Blue Valley Board Member Pam Robinson served as KASB President.

Tom recognized that by helping all kids, he could help "his kids" even more.  He provided leadership and took chances that have resulted in improvements for all districts in Kansas.  He has helped BVSD become a model for other districts, and he has been a mentor for other leaders across the state. When groups of Kansas school leaders meet to discuss issues, "What does Trigg think" is a commonly asked question.

Blue Valley is a better district because of Tom's commitment to Kansas.  Kansas is a better state because of Tom's commitment to Blue Valley.  That is leadership.  We will all miss Tom Trigg and wish him the best of luck.

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