Leaders in education should empower staff to excel

Worthington School District 518’s mission, “Excellence for All,” and its vision, which emphasizes leadership and growth opportunities for staff to positively impact student achievement, serve as powerful and inclusive guiding principles for our community.
Recent events have raised concerns about whether the current leadership at the school is upholding the values that this district is supposed to represent. In a time when schools across the state are facing shortages in educational staff, it is disheartening to see the leadership at ISD 518 alienate and disregard a highly skilled and dedicated staff member.
This individual takes pride in their cultural origin and sought to ensure that every member of our school community felt welcomed and included. However, the leadership chose to reject his origin and the inclusive environment he worked to foster.
The message this sends to the next generation of students is concerning. Are we teaching them that disagreements should lead to alienation? Are we demonstrating that the appropriate response to differences is to ignore and push people away? Are we suggesting that individuality is not acceptable? The core goal of conflict resolution should be to enhance, rather than harm, relationships among conflicting parties.
It is imperative that we show our children that it is not only acceptable but important to embrace individuality. We must teach them that having an opinion and expressing their feelings are valid and valuable traits. We should emphasize that open and respectful communication is the right approach to handle conflicts, rather than trying to force people to change who they are because “I told you to.”

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