May 27, 2015
 Our Vision: Ignite Passion. Inspire Excellence. Imagine Possibilities.

Letter from President Erica Nelson

Dear District 41 Community,

It is my distinct honor to serve as your District 41 Board of Education President. This is my third term on the Board and my second term as Board president. I am very proud of the growth we have seen in this district over the past few years. The children in the communities we serve are smart, talented and engaged in their communities like never before. We are truly preparing the future leaders of our country.

As I was reflecting on the direction of our school district, I recalled a quote that I feel connects to this moment in time as we come together as your new Board to serve and support our school communities. During an interview earlier this year, County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said, "I like people that take the initiative and contribute. We want talented people. But we also want people that understand how to build consensus and work together. That's imperative."

There are indeed many opportunities ahead of us and it is imperative that the Board, district and community work together. We have outstanding talent throughout the district in our students, teachers, staff, administration, school board, and community. This past year was the first year that the district began intentionally teaching through Problem-Based Learning at all grade levels. This is just one example of how the school district and the community working together has made a positive impact on learning. Students are critically thinking, problem-solving and implementing solutions in our community. We are teaching our children in a way that goes beyond the classroom through field experiences and engagement with their teachers and professionals. In return, they will retain what they are learning at a deeper level and some are already applying it to their lives outside of school. Inviting community members into our schools to see the educational environment today offers great insight for them and ideas for our district.

Of course, the work of a school district is not easy. Difficult decisions and conversations are necessary to move forward. As we look to the future, there are conversations about the school facilities, there are the new pressures of common core rigor and testing, there are financial challenges, and there are a growing number of needs for student services. Thank you to the community members who have already volunteered their time and talents to join the Facilities Task Force. I am confident that we will productively grapple with these issues and find a balance between retaining the charm of our school communities and enhancing the learning of our students to meet the demands of the world.

Time will tell what will come of many of these challenges as we strive to turn them into opportunities. The one thing I do know, we are all here and involved because of the children and the future of our community and world at-large. This is our common ground that is the thread that holds the Board, district and community together.

I look forward to working alongside all of you as we support one another to provide the best education for our children today and tomorrow.

Erica Nelson
Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education




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