Office of the Superintendent
Dear Scottsbluff Parents, Students and Community Members,
The work being done in this community is remarkable and I often sit back and marvel at what I see around me – in classrooms, out on our athletic fields and gymnasiums, on performance stages, and throughout our many partnerships with higher education and the business community. This kind of vitality and dedication to children is very special and we all should be very proud of how Scottsbluff steps out and gets it done.
Now in my eighth year here as Superintendent of Schools, I see what’s happening here as nothing short of truly miraculous. Here are some examples of the great work being done throughout the Scottsbluff Public School community:
- Graduation rates are rising beyond any goals we could have set – Just five years ago we brooded over SBPS’ last-place standing among all Nebraska class B school districts with a 78% graduation rate. Today we have seen our high school graduates reach over 90% for the second year in a row, exceeding many surrounding school districts as well as the Nebraska State average.
- The new Scottsbluff High School provides the best opportunities to students. In fact, I challenge anyone to find a school of any size that does more. On top of that, the facility building is just as remarkable. No school I have seen or heard about has the specialized and modern facilities that include health and medical sciences, graphic arts, a professional grade recording studio, live animal bay, greenhouse, graphic arts, early childhood, construction trades, engineering, journalism, art, athletics and fitness, library/media, professional culinary kitchens and more.
- State and nationally honored students and staff – I could never have imagined that a school district of our relatively small size would include such an array of staff and student honors. Here’s just a small sampling…
- Ashley Hillman Nebraska’s Strings Teacher of the Year (2017)
- Lavon Hood Nebraska’s Business Official of the Year (2017)
- Mike Halley Principal of the Year award from the Region V Nebraska State Association of Secondary School (2017)
- Shelby Aaberg Nebraska’s Teacher of the Year (2015);
- David Griess Nebraska’s Middle Level Outstanding Educator (2015);
- Lincoln Heights A nationally distinguished elementary school (2015);
- Matthew Mickey, who is studying Chemistry at the US Naval Academy
- Andrew Bartow A recent graduate who is studying software engineering at MIT;
- Sara Frederick A 2011 SHS graduate who was honored as a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Rochester, who is now attaining her doctorate in astrophysics at the University of Maryland;
- An 11-year old who is taking classes at Stanford University;
- Nebraska’s winning Math Bowl Team and the largest Math Club in the State;
- 58 Bluffs Middle School musicians honored as the only middle school band in the State to perform at the State Bandmasters Convention;
- And even, a 2011 SHS graduate who went on to become Miss America!
- The hot streak of SHS State Championships and “near-championships” in athletics is astounding. Here are some recent examples
- An emerging community partnership, “Every Child, Every Day, Everywhere (3E),” that is engaging an entire city around its children.
As the above examples show, this is a fantastic community accomplishing incredible things. Scottsbluff offers youth the opportunities to grow and to excel that exist in very, very few places anywhere.
In fact, during Governor Ricketts’ visit to our high school this fall, he commended our school district’s programming as being, “a model for the State and the Nation!”
And so, congratulations to this staff and to this community and to this student body! This is a tremendous school district that is getting better all the time. I can hardly wait to see what lies ahead and I couldn’t feel more proud and honored to be a part of it all as your superintendent.