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G-T Administrator Says Goodbye To School

May 5, 2015
Emmetsburg News

Dear Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-

Ayrshire Parents & Community:

It is with a very heavy heart I write this letter. After much deliberation, I have decided to leave school administration and accept a position as a regional administrator within the AEA. Over the past 5 years, between the cancer journey and its aftermath and the rigors of school leadership, I have burned the candle at both ends for too long. I have realized I need to make some major changes. I need to put my family first, slow down, and take better care of myself. But most of all, I need to be a better and more present parent to Sacha and Teague.

I have had a wonderful 10 years here at G-T. I hope I have been effective and have made the positive difference you expected of me. This decision is by far the hardest I have ever made - G-T is my family, for many reasons. I have literally been through thick and thin with students, staff, parents, board, and community. I'm not going to lie and say I haven't had some incredible trials, but I can honestly say I love this school and its people, especially our students.

In a similar letter, I thanked our School Board for their leadership, faith-trust-support, and the great opportunity to lead teachers and students. I thanked our staff for allowing me to lead, push (in a good way), and work alongside them - it's been a privilege. When I spoke to our students, I thanked them for rising to meet my high expectations in multiple areas and for being the best group of kids a principal could ask for. You are very lucky to have them, and so am I.

And now, I want to thank you for supporting 1) your students in their education, 2) our teachers as they facilitate your student's learning, and 3) me in the vision I've been working to carry out. So many building blocks must be in place and maintained for a school to run smoothly; and given I know there's always room for improvement, I appreciate the patience and encouragement you've shown as I've grown as a leader. Your willingness to help out when called upon has not gone unnoticed either! Thank you. I will miss the G-T students, staff, and parents more than my heart can handle as I write this letter.

It is important I express my gratitude for having had the opportunity to work for Andy Woiwood. He's doing an outstanding job and has done substantial work in organizing the district, administration, professional develop- ment and structure in general. I will say the same about Chris Myers especially his impact on the direction of curriculum and instructional leadership and Jeremy Simington who has come in and contributed significantly, working to improve procedures and programs, supporting me - they are truly leadership assets to this district!

As the regional administrator for the AEA, I will be charged with continuing the esteemed work Theresa Golden has done for the past 12 years. I will advocate for the educational interests of children and families, serve as a direct contact between the AEA and school district officials, and provide leadership and resources to AEA staff. Even though I won't be here day-by-day, I will be working to provide the resources and services our students deserve. And, our students deserve the very best!

While change can be difficult, my hope is that the school community uses this time to re-energize and re-commit to this wonderful, challenging work we call education. Connect with and support the school - it is the very BEST thing you can do for our kids. I encouraged our staff to do the same. We are on the same team; Together, we achieve more!


(signed) Teresa Alesch

6-12 Principal


Community School District



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