School & District Management

Here’s What District Leaders Are Most Thankful for This Thanksgiving

By Caitlynn Peetz — November 20, 2023 2 min read
Thanks, text and white-colored cubes.
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As students and teachers count down the days to a long weekend full of turkey, stuffing, and Thanksgiving gatherings, superintendents are taking time to reflect on what they’re most thankful for in their districts this year.

From staff members who bring out the best in students to students who are making academic strides, district leaders say they have plenty to be proud of this fall.

Several said they are thankful to have a supportive community that pushes them to improve and encourages their districts to be the best they can be. Others said their hardworking staff members have made the biggest impact.

Here’s what six superintendents said they are most grateful for this Thanksgiving. Their responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

PJ Caposey, Stillman Valley, Ill.

This year, I am in a transition year and ending my time in my current district which I have had the privilege of leading for 11 years. This built-in time to reminisce has given me immense gratitude and awareness that leadership is really all around us. I am of the belief that leadership is at the root of all of our struggles, but yet remains the solution at the same time. This year I am immensely thankful for the beautiful humans I am surrounded by who have dedicated their life to leadership in the pursuit of making other people’s lives better.

Matt Hillmann, Northfield, Minn.

I am grateful for the people I get to serve each day. I love our students—they are genuine, curious, and dream big. I am thankful for our staff—they are caring and incredibly skilled. Our community is a special place—they support our work and hold high expectations. It is a joy to do this vital work in this place with these fantastic human beings!

Heather Perry, Gorham, Maine

I am most thankful for our incredible, supportive community, without which our schools would not be successful. I am grateful each day to be able to serve the community of Gorham, Maine, as its superintendent of schools. Go Rams!

David Law, Minnetonka, Minn.

I am thankful each time I see a student shine as they proudly show their skills and knowledge, thankful for the staff that helped them get there, thankful for the community that continues to invest in and believe in our public schools, and thankful for opportunity to be a part of a better future.

LaTonya Goffney, Aldine, Texas

During this time of the year, when there are so many reasons to be thankful here in Aldine, the one that stands out the most is our people. Our students, employees, and community of Aldine are the reasons why we are able to continue moving forward in living our vision of providing choices and opportunities for our students and families. I am forever thankful for their voices, their time, and the dedication that allows us to accomplish our work.

Rod Weber, Woonsocket, S.D.

I am so thankful for my hardworking and passionate staff. Their devotion and commitment continues to create positive changes to our school every day. They are appreciated more than they will ever know. Happy Thanksgiving from the Woonsocket school district.

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