Grand County " The glass is half full in East Grand schools |

Grand County " The glass is half full in East Grand schools

The way we choose to see the current state of the East Grand School District’s leadership will largely control whether or not that leadership is able to succeed in the coming years.

This school year, Dr. Robb Rankin retires as the district’s longtime superintendent, passing the torch to Nancy Karas.

Karas has been the principal of East Grand Middle School since 1993 and will be assuming her new role on July 1.

Her first year will not be an easy one.

Not only will she be in charge of administering the recent voter-passed $18.2 million school bond, she will be doing so has she leads a team of new principals.

In the East Grand School District, there are five schools and each of those five

schools will have new principals at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year.

Not only will Karas’ position at the middle school be filled by a new principal ” yet to be hired ” for various reasons, three elementary schools and the high school will also be under new leadership.

The community can choose to see this as daunting or as an opportunity for a fresh start.

This is Karas’ chance to build a team of solid leaders who are approachable, who look at the issues presented by students, teachers and parents with new eyes and who are willing to solve those problems creatively.

With an entirely new team of leaders in the school district, there will be no one to stop forward motion with the phrase, “We’ve tried it, and it didn’t work.”

With the right people, this can be a new era for the East Grand schools.

As Nancy Karas said Thursday in a phone conversation with the newspaper, “It’s time for us to step it up a notch.”

But it will not happen overnight.

That is why, as the new principals and superintendents learn their roles, they will need the support of the community.

Because they care, the residents of Grand County can be incredibly critical. And while a critical eye on our area leaders is important, it must also be tempered with understanding.

All leaders have growing pains when they first accept the responsibility.

Not only will the new leaders of our schools be new to their roles, most of them will be new to the area and will need time to understand the culture of Grand County, of their new towns and of the schools they have been charged to lead.

The best thing the community can do is approach the coming school year with an open mind.

There will be new perspectives taking the reins and we should not be afraid to let them try new things.

And Nancy Karas will need to hit the ground running on July 1.

She will not have the luxury of an experienced team of principals to fall back on for advice. She will have to take the reins herself ” immediately.

Karas said, “I’m excited. It’s an opportunity that’s unheard of ” to literally develop an entire new leadership team, to develop a philosophy from the ground up.

“It’s a once in a lifetime chance and I take it seriously.”

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