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'We never know what's going to spark a kid'

Superintendent Brian Garverick speaks to new Mansfield City Schools employees and current administrators in the library of Mansfield Senior High and Mansfield Middle School.

   Superintendent Brian Garverick emphasized “our great traditions and our great families” as he welcomed newly hired administrators, teachers and support staff to Mansfield City Schools Tuesday morning.

   “Our graduates have achieved success at many colleges and universities and in many career and business fields,” he said. “As an urban district we face challenges but we can meet those challenges with success.”

   Garverick, a 1976 Mansfield Senior High graduate, relayed the story of two young men “pretty much on their own” without supportive family units. It seemed, he said, that both were on the path to dropping out of school.

   “I was astonished to see that both came back to Senior High on their own. Something clicked, someone lit a spark and they graduated,” he said. “We never know what’s going to spark a kid. You may provide that spark.

   “Our doors at central office are always open to you. We are here to support each other. Have a great year.”

   Curriculum Director Stephen Rizzo, whose tenure in the district has included serving as principal at three elementary schools, urged new teachers and administrators to focus on academic standards.

   “There is a lot of excitement as we begin another year,” Rizzo said, “but there also is a sense of urgency. As the state changes (academic) standards we, as an urban district, bear the brunt of those changes.

   “We chose you but you also chose us,” he told the new employees. “We want you to approach the year with a positive energy.

   “Reflect on your practices throughout the year. Please ask questions of your peers, your literacy coaches and your principals. We are here to help you.”

   The session also included presentations by Technology Director Fayette Adams, Assistant Superintendent Mark Manley and Treasurer Robert Kuehnle and his staff.

   For most students school will start on Aug. 21. Grades 8, 11 and 12 will start on Aug. 22.

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