A Message From Ms. Newton
Since taking on the role of superintendent in January 2012, I have had the pleasure of getting well acquainted with Geneva, from the city and schools to the people that fill them. I can happily say my husband, Scott, and I now make our home here in this lovely lakeside community.
As an administrator and former teacher, my first priority is naturally helping our students excel as they grow from promising young people into inspiring adults. I believe we have extremely bright children, and if pushed and provided with a safe, encouraging learning environment, they can achieve great things. Fortunately, the Geneva City School District is not alone in this task, but has an array of amazing partners here in the Finger Lakes, from nearby educational institutions to businesses and community members. Never before have I lived in a place that showed such overwhelming support of its young people. This is a community that cares deeply about children.
School improvement is a huge focus for us and the district is now concentrating more than ever on analyzing and improving instructional practices. To that end, we embrace the increased focus on evaluation and accountability, though we may struggle with the manner and speed with which the state government has chosen to implement new curriculum and evaluation standards. Those changes are among the many challenges we face navigating the sometimes rough waters of state and federal regulations established by people who have never set foot in a high needs district. Geneva City Schools has been able to secure a great deal of grant funding, which, with careful fiscal management, has helped us stay on top of those trends while keeping education cuts as far from our children as possible.
Some of the challenges we face, however, are locally grown. Among them is the need to cut absenteeism and see students walk through the doors prepared for the rigor of our schools. If we can get the students in school and prepared for hard work, we can get them across the stage and ready for college or a career. Another is a tendency for those that live here to be their own worst critics. We must not only encourage our young people, but recognize the myriad strengths and accomplishments of those that live, work and study in this city. Such changes happen over time and will require the dedication of all here in Geneva.
Follow me on Twitter @GenevaCSDSupt!