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Do you ever wonder what makes a school special? What would success look like? In many businesses, success is easy to define. In schools, it is much harder. High test scores are awesome, but are we testing the right things? Winning sports teams are the goal of many schools, but in the end, is winning really the goal of school sports? How about lots of kids going to college? Then we have to ask if they are successful there? It is not easy. At the Bedford Area School District we are finally starting to define success.

As we continue to grow into our Bedford 2020 initiative, we have learned from our planning and leadership processes that success is not about those outcomes above, but about creating a community of leadership and learning for all of our stakeholders. Our success is defined by creating happy healthy young people who are ready for whatever comes next. If we can do this, we will also be successful in those indicators to which we are held accountable. So our Bedford 2020 initiative will not be just about curriculum, technology, and the stuff of modern learning, it will also be about developing the whole person. It will be about creating a growth mindset, grit, and the slight edge gained by positive daily decisions. Excellence grows from those attributes.

We also know this: technology and curriculum are only tools in creating the keys to success. The support of the community, usually in the form or one key adult, is how this happens. So I challenge every board member, administrator, teacher, support staff, bus driver, parent, grandparent, employer, and community member to become part of our leadership team. Together we can and will create happy healthy young people ready to Excel at whatever comes next for them.

Dr. Allen Sell