Highlights in '20 outshine frustrations

While it would be easy to list all of the disappointments and frustrating moments of the past year, I want to focus on the amazing contributions of hundreds of individuals who were instrumental in making the first semester a success for our students under some of the most difficult circumstances. As we head into the holiday season, I hope that you join me in acknowledging and celebrating our D181 team and school community.

I want to begin by showing my deep appreciation for our teachers, who continue to provide a high-quality education to our students despite the enormous stress and pressure of quickly changing the way in which they deliver their lessons. They have adapted to new digital technologies while juggling hybrid and remote classes to ensure a high level of learning for all our students. When I visit the buildings, I’m in awe of the resilient enthusiasm in their voices and I feel energized by the creative ways they are engaging with students. They are truly some of the best educators in the state of Illinois!

None of us could have been successful without our amazing support staff. Our technology team has continued to rise to the challenge of ensuring that teachers and students have all the necessary tools to be successful. Our nurses, custodians, buildings and grounds crew, secretaries and support staff have put in extra effort to ensure the utmost precautions are in place and continue to do it with care and smiling faces.

Thank you again to our keen administrative team, including principals, assistant principals and pupil service administrators, for solving incredibly complex problems with ever-changing guidance. Our administrators designed a hybrid and remote plan that became second to none.

We want to thank our board of education for carefully considering different perspectives and their unwavering support once our learning model was finalized. We are deeply grateful for the innumerable hours they have volunteered for the benefit of our school community.

Also, our families have played a key role in our success by following the safety protocols and partnering with us each step of the way. Thank you for supporting our hybrid and remote learning schedules, in addition to your own work and other family responsibilities.

We know we have new challenges ahead of us — but also many successes behind us to light the way. We will remain flexible, continue to monitor the critical data and guidance, and remain in open communication with our community. I’m proud to lead an organization that works together on behalf of our amazing students regardless of numerous difficulties and obstacles.

I sincerely wish all of you a safe and healthy winter break and a very happy new year!

— by Hector Garcia, superintendent,

Community Consolidated District 181