Friday, July 30, 2010

Who Says You Can't Go Home?????




WOW!!!!!! I can't believe that it is Friday, the end of an amazing week. I started my new job as Superintendent of Douglas Unified School District on Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. As is any job in education these days, "I hit the ground running" and never looked back. It has been a week of meeting new people and trying to learn the ins and outs of a new district.

I truly thought when I made this decision to apply for the job in Douglas and leave Gilbert, that the emotional piece for me would be leaving Gilbert El and the wonderful faculty, staff, parents, and children. And it was emotional. What I didn't know was how emotional coming back to Douglas would be. I have truly been amazed by the support of so many people here. I have received emails from former Douglas people living elsewhere letting me know how happy they are that I am the new superintendent. I have been welcomed by the district office personnel and the principals. Next week, teachers will be back and I will be so happy and proud to greet them. They do an incredible job in this district and they have my utmost admiration.

As I have gone around the district and have been introduced to people, I have had so many people tell me how much they liked and admired my mom. This has truly touched me as she has been gone for eight years now.

The pace of life here is so much different. Heavy traffic is no where to be found. The weather has been great--it has rained every day. The district office is 3 1/2 blocks from the house.

Today the district office personnel put on a barbecue lunch (you haven't lived until you have a barbecue in Douglas with all the wonderful Mexican food) for the new people and to say good-bye to a classified person who is retiring and also to the wonderful interim superintendent, Ray Borane, who has done this job for the last several months for a whole $1.00. Mr. Borane was superintendent for many years and was recently the mayor of Douglas. He truly epitomizes someone who gives back to the community. In four short days, I have learned so much from him.

I realize that this is only the first week and that there is always a honeymoon period, but I can honestly say that I AM SO GLAD I AM HERE. I hope that I can give something back to this wonderful community where I was raised and contributed so much to who I am today. I truly believe growing up in Douglas had a great impact in so many positive ways. I also believe that growing up here was instrumental in who all of my aunts and uncles who grew here became. They then handed this down to my wonderful cousins.

So here I am, living in the house I grew up and that Teresa was born in. My grandfather bought this house in 1918. That is amazing anywhere, but particularly in Arizona.

I also believe that my years in Gilbert working with dedicated educators has also impacted me in so many ways. Today I was looking for something to put on the Douglas website and I went to the Gilbert website. There was an article on the site about me being named superintendent in Douglas. I was truly touched by this.

I will miss all of the people who have meant so much to me for so long, but know that true friendships will last.

I am glad to be back here in Douglas, Arizona!! And I am proud that I was chosen to be their superintendent. It will be a new and exciting adventure--one that I never in my wildest dreams imagined would happen. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason......... I am feeling very good about this reason being something very important. I hope I am right!!

5 remarks:

Jessie said...

Sheila,
Excellent post. Congrats and I have no doubt that you will do a great job. The best to you and the family.
Jessie

NP said...

Congratulations Sheila ~ Douglas is lucky in getting one of their own. Gilbert El. will certainly be different without you. I feel a road trip coming on . . . maybe this time we can stay with you and Aunt Teresa instead of next to the prison :) Have a wonderful year!
Love & hugs,
Nancy

Dottie said...

Best wishes, dear friend!! You are already missed in so many ways!! Douglas is a lucky district!!

Dottie

Janice... Just Write said...

I'm not sure which I'm going to enjoy more... the adventures of you as the Superintendent of Douglas Unified School District, or the saga of your pugs. Either way, part of my heart always longs for the life of a small town, where a District is beginning their year with a barbecue instead of "drilling down on the results of AIMS testing and teacher performance." Ahhhh, the sweet aroma of respect for educators. Enjoy, Sheila! Janice : )

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS, SHEILA!! Love this post and just opened it as we have been gone for two weeks. Yes indeed, when things settle down for you, a road trip for "the Gilbert gals" will be in order for sure. Got to check out this Douglas place. Ha, Ha!!
Love and best wishes for a wonderful new school year!! We shall be thinking of you as you begin this new chapter of your life.
Tomas and Sandra