Letter to CV Community: Oct. 10, 2022
October 10, 2022
Dear CV Community –
The Conestoga Valley Board of School Directors has been generous in offering me a new contract to continue as Superintendent of Conestoga Valley School District. Through our discussion, I have notified them of my gratitude for their support and the offer, but I am announcing that I will be retiring from public education at the end of my current contract on June 30, 2023. While I have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, my role here at CV, both health and family reasons have led me to this decision.
To the many Board members who I have worked with, the administrative team who is second to none, the amazing, dedicated teachers, the selfless support staff - I say thank you. Each of you are educators, positively affecting the lives of our students. Speaking of students, you are awesome!! A great thanks goes out to your families for supporting you as we get to partner with them for the 13 years you are with us.
I am very proud of the many accomplishments by the District during my tenure:
- The creation and implementation of a Profile of CV Learner that shifted the focus from achievement based on test taking to developing an educational system that maintained academic integrity while enhancing the competencies of collaboration, communication, innovative problem solving, global citizenship and life-long learning.
- We have established a true grade 6-8 middle level instructional model. The (ongoing) construction of an innovative middle school building will grow into the showcase for middle level learning in the region (not just the county) as our outstanding teachers discover and utilize the potential of their new learning environment.
- We are in the midst of a total district renovation and revitalization project. Kudos to Dr. Huesken and the Boards that came before us for setting the stage for this opportunity to upgrade all of the District facilities.
- We have established a truly interactive, blended model of online learning throughout our K-12 CVVA program. We have demonstrated that accountability and academic success is attainable in an online format.
- We have created a truly living, breathing, working document with the development of our Comprehensive Plan. Additionally, the Board had the foresight to integrate into their “first time ever” three-year District Goals the four components of the Plan – the Profile of a CV Learner, the associated Instructional Model, equitable support for all, and the development of mutually beneficial school-community partnerships.
- We have completely revamped our support for our special education populations. We have created a continuum of services, brought back students into our schools in a supportive environment, and have even just recently been able to offer our services to neighboring districts.
- In support of our most at-risk population, we have increased our number of social workers/home-school visitors from one to three and have added a social-emotional trauma specialist to our team.
- We successfully addressed (and continue to do so) the effects of the COVID pandemic. We stayed true to our plan, provided direct in-person instruction to 80 percent of our students throughout the first year of COVID and, even today, continue to work on the academic and social-emotional gaps our students experienced during that time.
We’ve accomplished a lot, more than I have mentioned, and more than I could have imagined. I want to continue to emphasize that this was a WE effort. No one person can accomplish what we have accomplished together. That being said, we still have much work to do; this includes the ongoing development of a sense of belonging for ALL students; completion of a comprehensive facilities plan; onboarding of a new Chief Finance and Operations Officer as well as District Solicitor; and continued progress on our Comprehensive Plan, just to name a few. I look forward to continuing to provide leadership by always working WITH our administration, faculty, staff and families, and to prepare our District to welcome our new superintendent who will be able to take our District to even greater heights.
I would like to personally thank Mrs. Groff and Mr. Talley who are the two remaining Board members from the Board that took a chance on someone to come in and provide a different way of looking at how we engage our students in learning and how we measure their success.
Thank you again to every educator for making a positive difference in the lives of EVERY CHILD, EVERY DAY, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. I look forward to seeing the great things WE can continue to accomplish.
Dave Zuilkoski, EdD