Dr. Quintin Shepherd

Dr. Quintin Shepherd

Many, many years ago when I first became a principal, I was amazed to learn just how busy summer can be when you are one of the people who work throughout the summer.

As a teacher, I thought schools slowed way down in the summer, and although teachers were on break and busy building their professional development and individual learning, I assumed it would be a chance for me to also catch my breath as a principal. I could not have been more wrong.

At Victoria ISD, our campuses are crazy busy all summer long, and most people have no idea how hard people work all summer in these short few months between the end of school last year and the start of school this year.

Within hours of the end of school last year and throughout the summer, our support staff, custodial staff, nutrition staff, maintenance staff and administration work tirelessly cleaning buildings, waxing floors, doing routine maintenance, prepping and planning and doing the “business” of schools.

We’re busy hiring and placing staff. We are frenetically working to have new curriculum and new technology in place and ready to go. There are innumerable tasks that take place in the summer in preparation for students.

Usually, I greet summer with some excitement because it feels like a different job and a change of pace. The nature of the work I do changes in the summer, as it does for most administrators.

Several weeks into the summer, however, I start to really miss our teachers, support staff, students and parents. Our campuses feel lonely and start to look like buildings. It isn’t until you add the excitement and energy of the staff and the students that they become schools.

I’m going to speak for all school administrators when I say that toward the end of summer, we are really missing our school families. We have the family of our educators and support staff who we care about and love and genuinely miss. We have the extended family that is the parent community who we also miss and look forward to seeing again. Most of all, we have the family that is our children who bring so much excitement, joy and passion to our schools and are our reason for going into this profession that we call education.

Welcome back, family. I’m glad you’re here, and I’m looking forward to a great year.

Dr. Shepherd is the superintendent of the Victoria Independent School District.

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