Embracing an Attitude of Continuous Improvement

Sean Dusek, Superintendent, Kenai Peninsula School District

“Transforming education is not easy, but the price of failure is more than we can afford, while the benefits of success are more than we can imagine.” This quote by Ken Robinson resonates in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Over the first quarter of this school year, I have had the opportunity to visit many of our schools and speak with many different organizations. What I have found is that there is widespread support for our schools and many student successes to celebrate. But, even though there is solid support and we are seeing positive results, there is also much work to do.

I am proud of our staff for embracing the attitude of continuous improvement. There is an eagerness to get better at the art and science of teaching. It is clear that good is not good enough for our kids. With rapid changes occurring in our state, country, and world, we must do our best to prepare our students for their future. Innovation, problem solving, effort, creativity, and persistence are critical attributes of contributing members of our society. I have been able to share specific examples of our students demonstrating these attributes in KPBSD classrooms and after they graduate.

Teachers are deepening their instructional toolboxes, with more focus on meeting the needs of individual students through rigorous and relevant means. Students are increasingly being encouraged to take ownership of their learning in order to be able to apply their academic foundation to real problems they are already encountering outside the classroom.

While we have some performance indicators that need attention, we are also moving forward, as demonstrated by our students’ accomplishments and staff efforts to improve. From the work I see being done, I believe the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is providing a quality education for our students, as the staff works hard and continues to innovate to prepare all students for successful futures.