Bill Newby

Message from GLS District 36

Superintendent of Schools
Dr. William Newby

June 4, 2020

Dear Grass Lake District #36 Students, Parents, Staff, and Community,

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come." - Joseph Campbell

Life has been crazy lately.  Closing schools and cancelling in person learning, COVID-19, e-learning, remote-learning, social distancing, video conferencing to name a few. These things have caused us to fear for our lives, test our patience, and stress our relationships. The lack of answers and clear direction for our future has left us in a perpetual state of uncertainty.

Then right in the middle of this uncertainty the death of George Floyd in Minnesota thrust our entire country into a crisis of conscience. Bringing to the surface the wounds of hundreds of years of oppression and cries of systemic racism.  Protests everywhere, even in Lake County!  It is certainly not what any of us would have planned for our lives!

Times like these seem surreal and out of control.  We struggle just to keep up and worry about the future. So, as stated by Joseph Campbell, “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”  I believe this is an opportunity for us to move forward to a better life.  For each of us to have difficult discussions about race equity and equality.  To seek to understand what our roles are and how we can act as agents of change to create the better life that waits for all of us.

As a school district we have come together during these crises to support our entire community.  We are providing food, clothing, mental health support, and education to all our families.  I am proud of how we have served each other and demonstrated our respect and love of people of all races, genders and ethnicities. 

While we do not know what next school year will bring, we do know that we will all be a part of it.  Together we can create a school and community culture that provides a safe, inclusive, and unbiased environment where all can flourish.    

It is my hope that you will take time this summer to refresh and renew your minds, bodies, and souls and come back refreshed and energized to tackle the challenges that lay ahead.  Let us shed the old skin so the new skin can come!   

    

Sincerely,

William Newby Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Grass Lake District # 36