Recently to start the year, I asked the faculty of Brewer to participate in a back to school activity where we reflect on our practice and our memories of Brewer, and share what makes Brewer School Department an exciting place to work and the best place to send our children to for their education. In my first three months as Superintendent, one thing I have learned is that there is a strong commitment to education in Brewer and the community support is something I have not seen before in my 23 years in education. I have heard the phrase, “teachers care about kids” and “teachers love what they do”, many times in my career. I have met many remarkable teachers along my path as well. However, there is something special about Brewer. I have been trying to describe it to the people that I meet, and the phrase “community of caring” is a good start but it is so much more than that.
From my very first interview, I remember telling my husband, we are moving! The connection to the people around the table asking me questions and the connection to how this town supports not only their children but each other in times of need, I see everyday. For example, when you get welcomed into Brewer, you get little care packages at your door, you get people that check in on you to see how you are doing, you get asked to dinner, you get that perfect little note in your mailbox when you are least expecting it. In Brewer, everyone seems to know what is happening to everyone, but we also lend a helping hand without even thinking about it. I have seen teachers during this holiday season, donate numerous gifts and food items to make sure children had a Christmas. I have seen businesses call our schools to ask how they can help out and I have seen the numerous donations that support our schools each month at our School Committee meetings.
One of the things I have learned is that family has a strong presence in Brewer. The generations of family that have gone through our schools and the number of employees that use to be students within our school system is amazing to me. People always come back to Brewer to give to this community. In the next few months, the district will be undergoing the strategic planning process where we will look at our vision and mission of our school department. This process started in 2011 and fizzled out a little over the last few years. Another strong showing of community is that when these members of this committee were called, they were all too eager to come back and represent their prospective areas and serve on our planning committee again. Another example of Brewer’s strong community and dedication to our schools! During this process we will have a community forum and I will be asking for your voice in what we do well and what you would like to see us improve upon. This is important in mapping out our plan for the next five years. I look forward to having you participate through either online surveys, in person at our community forums, or in smaller neighborhood meetings.
Recently I presented to the faculty regarding pieces of our vision and mission focusing on student-centered and personalization of instruction. Offering our students multiple pathways to demonstrate their learning and multiple pathways to earn a diploma with strong programming is a goal for Brewer. We believe that all kids can learn and our faculty works hard to help each child find a way to demonstrate that learning. We offer some of the most unique programs in the state from our Forestry and Outdoor Education program to our Air Force JROTC program where you can actually get your pilot’s license! If art and music are your niche, our award winning band, new Art wing, and drama program are simply out of this world. Brewer offers multiple AP courses, dual enrollment college courses, and support for all students to be successful. I could go on and I have in my prior article that was in The Scholar that was mailed to all of our Brewer residents written and published by our students.
As I close this entry, I wanted to share with you some of the statements sent to me by the teachers. I have put a slideshow together for you that you can view. Please enjoy. And if you ever have a moment, please stop by the office and say hello. I love to meet and talk with the people that make Brewer such a dynamic community to live in and raise our children in.
Please click here to enjoy the show!