Letters to the Editor: Interim superintendent's introduction

Letters to the Editor: Interim superintendent's introduction

Letters to the Editor
Sean McPhetridge

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the Alameda community. My name is Sean McPhetridge, and I am serving as the interim superintendent for Alameda Unified School District this school year.

I have worked for the district for nine of the last 14 years. I began as a vice principal at Alameda High School, and then I returned here after graduate school to serve as director of secondary and career technical education and also principal of Alameda Science and Technology Institute. Most recently, I spent three more years as the district's assistant superintendent. I am grateful for the opportunity to be back in Alameda.

What I love about this town is the way it embraces values of family, community, and education. I appreciate the commitment, grit, and resilience of Alamedans. I have seen that character tested again and again. And because of my years here, there are certain things that I have come to believe, know, and hope.

I believe that by working together we can continue to make Alameda’s schools places where children learn, grow, and thrive. I believe we can continue to support one another in this important work, work that is difficult but important to all of us. I believe working together means talking more and engaging each other in sometimes tough conversations about the challenges we face. In fact, I believe working together as a productive team is the only way we can truly address the challenges we face now and the challenges we will face in the future.

I know Alameda is a great place to live and a great place to learn. After years of working here and getting to know its youth, families, staff, and schools, I feel very lucky to have interacted with many dedicated people here. I also know that Alameda Unified is a great district with excellent schools and highly professional teachers. We must stay focused on that.

I hope to reconnect with old friends, build relationships with new partners, and help keep the Alameda community focused on moving forward and continuously improving for the sake of its children. We have new opportunities ahead of us. Change is constant. Progress depends on it. Let's move forward together now. And let’s keep talking about what we need to talk about.

I am committed to serving this year as an interim superintendent who is a communicator, a listener, a leader, and a public servant while the Board of Education conducts an inclusive search for a permanent superintendent. I am committed to serving our schools. And I am committed to doing what I can to help employees, students, families, and community members find new ways where new ways are needed.

The Alameda Unified School District is a learning organization: Now, more than ever, we are learning new ways of teaching, new ways of operating, and new ways of joining together as a team. That means we are working to forge stronger partnerships with employees, stronger relationships with families, and stronger ties to our community partners — all in the name of doing right by kids. I know we are doing right by kids here in Alameda. I have seen us come together again and again as a community to keep doing exactly that, through good times and bad. And that is why I have returned.

In sum, I believe in the work we all do together ... as a school district and as a city. I know working together as a team is how we will keep succeeding going forward. Alameda has been and will remain a great place to live, a great place to learn, and a great place to raise a family. I thank you for your commitment to young people and also for your commitment to one other. Alameda thrives as a result of it.

Sean McPhetridge
Interim superintendent, Alameda Unified School District