Dr. Paul Salah: Thank you for the warm welcome

As you read this column, I am in my first few months as Superintendent of Huron Valley Schools. With 16 school buildings, more than 9,000 students and upwards of 1,200 staff members, I would characterize my time so far as “drinking from a fire hose.”

While it has been a whirlwind of activity, I can already say I love my work. It is challenging, exciting and rewarding all at the same time. I want to thank the entire HVS family for welcoming me with open arms.

EXCELLENCE

As I reflect on these first few months, I’d like to share a few observations. First, the HVS staff is committed and dedicated to the success of our students. I have had the opportunity to visit a number of classrooms and the teaching and learning I see is impressive.

I want you to know, the safety and well-being of our students is my number-one priority.  I also take very seriously HVS’ obligation to deliver excellence at every level.

As a parent of three school-aged children, I have high expectations for the education they receive. I believe every HVS family deserves to have the same high expectations. Therefore, when I visit classrooms I am pleased to see the learning taking place across the district.

Huron Valley is a Triple A school district, meaning we support excellence in academics, arts and athletics. We believe in well-rounded citizens who graduate ready for college and the world of work.

My pledge is to make decisions in the best interests of your children, just as I do my own. I am committed to leading an organization that provides world-class learning opportunities for its students. Huron Valley Schools will compete at high levels, not only across the state, but also across the country.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

My second observation is related to the extensive support our schools receive from the community. One example relates to a recent vacancy on our school board caused by the resignation of a member who relocated outside the school district.

Seven members of the community submitted applications to fill the seat. Mind you, this is an unpaid position that requires countless hours to meet the obligations and responsibilities involved with governing a large comprehensive school district.

I have known of school districts challenged to find people willing to fill vacant board seats. This is not the case in Huron Valley.

A second example relates to our business community. Not a day that passes when I don’t hear about a fundraising activity supported by one or more of our local businesses. Many of these commitments range in the thousands of dollars.

Without this support, we could not provide the level of opportunity we offer in Huron Valley. Whether it is the car dealerships or local restaurants, students benefit tremendously from our local business’ commitment to giving back. I am grateful to be a part of a community that cares about its kids.

LOCAL LEADERSHIP

Finally, I’ve been impressed by the willingness and dedication of our community leaders, elected officials and law enforcement personnel to commit time and energy that assures each student has a sound educational experience.

One example of this commitment came during a recent meeting of the board of education where we recognized the chiefs of our three law enforcement agencies. Their departments committed countless resources working side-by-side with HVS staff to provide training on new security protocols designed to enhance emergency preparedness and keep our children safe.

It would be difficult to overstate how excited I am to be part of the HVS family. I am looking forward to building relationships  over many years to come.  If you are interested in following me on Twitter and staying current on school district happenings as well as education policy matters at the state and national levels, my twitter handle is @PaulSalah.

Once again, thank you for welcoming me to the Huron Valley family.