Board Insight: PCSD Board of Education Highlights Inclusion for All During Opening Day Celebration!

Before a jam-packed Mendon High School auditorium, Superintendent Mike Pero kicked off the 2018-19 school year, welcoming more than 1,000 of the District’s educators and staff to a rousing Opening Day celebration. On their feet and with open arms, all in attendance extended an even more personalized welcome as Mike introduced each and every brand new member of the PCSD family.  

Just like on the “Price Is Right,” Mike called on thirty-six new District members to “come on down!” each joining us with diverse backgrounds and bringing an exciting variety of life experiences. But each also sharing our District’s common mission to do what’s in the interests of our students, helping them do their best work and be their best selves. It’s this universal belief and passion that bring us together as “One Pittsford.”  

During the Opening Day event, we were all moved, inspired, and energized by the words of Mike, PDTA President Dwayne Cerbone, and our own BOE President Amy Thomas. Our District leaders, united in purpose and pathway, spoke of our individuality that makes us alike.  Of our differences that make us similar. And of the power of inclusion that makes us strong.

In his first newsletter of the school year, Mike referenced the book, Wonder. It is a book filled with valuable messages about the importance of an inclusive environment. It’s worth reading—even re-reading—if you have the chance. Mike closed his letter, urging each of us to understand the immense power we have to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. What may seem like a small, insignificant act may bring great joy to the object of our kindness.

Amy echoed Mike’s message of diversity and inclusion in her remarks to the Opening Day crowd. She cited Wonder and The Breakfast Club, as well as her own personal experiences growing up, and made comparisons between the daily struggles of a fourth grader 40 years ago to that of a modern day fourth grader living in a social media-centric world. We immediately empathized with her—and with the characters in these stories.  We quickly realized that although times have changed, our realities are very much the same.  Although some of our students may not have an immediate sight on a bright future, with the support of families/teachers/staff to believe and embrace individuality, each student has the potential to create a path for success.

Thankfully, Mike, Amy, and Dwayne clarified for us the power that comes from our differences and our ability to overcome any challenge—when we act as one body with one agenda—remembering the value each of us brings to our community.

It is in this spirit—acknowledging our diversity, embracing inclusion, and celebrating the power that inclusivity brings to us all—that we, your Board of Education, welcome every member of our District community to the 2018-19 school year!  We invite each of you to share your uniqueness with us during the school year and beyond as we work together with one mission: to do what’s best for our kids.