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Superintendent's Office » Superintendent's Office

Superintendent's Office

Dr. Matthew Strine
Superintendent of Schools

Welcome to Tuscarora School District, where every student is known by name!

The 2017-2018 school year will be my first full year serving as your Superintendent of School. As you may know, I was hired last March to lead our district to the next level of learning, growth, and achievement. I have been leading and learning since my hire date through the present, and I plan to continue to grow the Tuscarora School District to unprecedented levels of success and satisfaction during our time together! I truly want the Tuscarora School District to be the ‘District of First Choice’ throughout our area and across the state.

The ‘District of First Choice’ is more than a slogan. It is a varied and lofty goal. We want our students to graduate and have the opportunity to have their first choice of colleges or careers. We want the Tuscarora School District to be the first choice district for families moving into the area. And, we want the best young professionals to look to the Tuscarora School District as their first choice for employment. This certainly is a wonderful place to learn and grow together.

To become the ‘District of First Choice,’ we need to continue to build onto the great foundational pieces already established by past leaders and the hard work of our teachers, staff, parents, and community members. Tuscarora School District is a hidden treasure with modern and updated buildings, beautiful athletic facilities, contemporary technologies, and a picturesque setting. We surely have the foundational pieces to become the ‘District of First Choice!’

To help us move closer to becoming the ‘District of First Choice,’ four overarching goals were collaboratively created, and we want people talking about them. These goals are referred to as our GABS. GABS is an acronym for Ground-Truth Communication, Advanced Achievement, Bright Spots Inquiry, and Same-Day Customer Service. We want you proudly gabbing about our shared goals.

Here are some talking points about each:

Ground-Truth communication starts with speaking directly to the person with whom a concern or celebration stems. We need to follow the chain of communication by talking with people, not about them. With Ground-Truth Communication, it is very important to seek first to understand, then be understood. The power of listening and open, honest discourse are at the heart of Ground-Truth Communication.

Advanced Achievement relies on a solid instructional core that involves the teacher and her/his instructional practice; the content, skills, and assessments which can be found in a robust and dynamic curriculum; and, the engagement and perseverance of the students. Advanced Achievement will be realized when we have more Advanced level performers than a combination of Basic and Below Basic performers. We can accomplish this goal in one of three ways: 1) we can increase the number of Advanced performers. 2) we can shrink the number of Basic and Below Basic performers. Or, 3) we can simultaneously grow the number of Advanced performers, while shrinking the number of Basic and Below Basic performers. To meet with success on this goal, we will need to take calculated risks with our instructional planning and delivery. We will need to constantly update and revise the content, skills, and assessments found within our curriculum. And, we will need to engage students’ interests through technology and evidenced-based best practices.

Bright Spots Inquiry is the most unique of our four goal areas. Taking an idea from the book, Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath, most often people critically look out at an organization and think, “What is wrong with us… How do we fix it?” Bright Spots Inquiry takes a different approach. At Tuscarora, we will strive to look at our district and think, “What is right with our planning and instructional delivery, with our curriculum, and with our engagement and evidence-based best practices?” Then, we will work to clone it. There are a lot of really good things happening across our district. We just need to amplify, magnify, and multiply what works!

Finally, Same-Day Customer Service is the idea that the Tuscarora School District is a business, no different than a multibillion dollar organization, like Amazon. No different than any small business within our district’s boundaries. If our customers (students, parents, employers, recruiters, etc.) are not satisfied, then we need to adjust what we do to meet their needs in our ever-changing world. Public schools across the state and throughout the nation are in unprecedented levels competition with charter schools, private schools, and cyber schools. We need to work diligently, efficiently, and effectively to gain and maintain our community’s confidence and praise. We, at Tuscarora School District, are here to serve you!

These GABS will be the focus of our 2017-2018 school year and for years to come, as it is believed that these goals will lead us to becoming the ‘District of First Choice.’ Please spread the good news of our wonderful district. I look forward to learning, growing, and succeeding together!

Dr. Matthew Strine, Superintendent
Tuscarora School District