January 15, 2022
Update from Superintendent Shuldiner
Dear Lansing School District Community,
I hope this newsletter finds you well. As always, it is a pleasure to be writing to you all. I hope you enjoyed the first week back from break. I was able to visit a few schools, attend some basketball games, and meet with some wonderful community members. It was great to be in the district. Though I enjoyed the two weeks with no school, I was really excited to get back to it. As we all know, we have lots of work ahead in order to create the school district we want. Thank you for coming back and pushing forward.
In order to create the school district we want, we all, including me, have to learn. None of us are perfect or know everything. We need to recognize deep in our core that we should be lifelong learners. We are surrounded by talented people in all walks of life. If we consciously open our eyes, ears, and minds to new understanding, studying, and investigation, our community will be better for it.
This week, I will attend the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators (MASA) Midwinter Conference. I will be surrounded by well over 100 Michigan district leaders. I will be able to meet with them and learn from them. As a relatively new Michigander, attending MASA events has been really helpful. Michigan has a very specific education eco-system. The more I immerse myself in it, the better a Lansing Superintendent I can be. In fact, it was at this conference last year that I met Dr. Adam Hartley and was able to start the process of hiring him away from Fenton. In the six months he has been with us, he has already helped to create our alternative education school -- the Lansing Learning Hub, as well as strengthening our Capital Area On-Line School. Meeting Adam and being able to recruit and employ him was worth the attendance, regardless of anything else I learned. I hope to return to Lansing from the conference this year with even more knowledge and talent. Additionally, the meeting is in Kalamazoo, a city I have never visited. If anyone has any suggestions of things to see or places to go, please let me know. The conference schedule is pretty tight, but I can always take a walk at night or grab a coffee from your favorite cafe before the meetings begin.
I also want to acknowledge that tomorrow is Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. No words that I write can describe the importance of MLK. Nothing I type in this newsletter will signify the honor and gratitude we should feel as a nation to recognize his work. I will leave that to others this week.
What I can relate is that my father and grandfather traveled by train from New York to DC to attend the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as part of their local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and witnessed firsthand Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech. Hearing his words on that day was immensely important to my family, as it strengthened their resolve to continue to fight to support our country as it battled injustice. But it was also the idea that over 200,000 people in 1963 could come together for a larger purpose that resonated. Hundreds of different organizations and groups were able to put aside their differences and come together for this epic event. Thousands of people, who days before had their own agenda, converged in unison for jobs and freedom, and the country was changed immediately for the better.
And now, almost 60 years later, I ask that we do the same for education and for Lansing. We will only be able to truly move this district and this city forward if we come together with a clarity of purpose. We will need to trust each other. We will need to put past division aside. We will need to all pull together. Rightfully, MLK Day has become a day of service across this country. So this week, this month, and this year, let us remember this great man, but let us also carry his spirit forward. Rather than a day, I ask that we declare an MLK year of service focused on education. What this looks like, I don't know. I look toward others to work with us to create it. We have time to build it collectively. But as Dr. King said to an audience in 1957:
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?"
Let us do for others together. Let us serve this year together. I look forward to walking side-by-side with this community as we fight for a better future for our children.
Thank you so much for all of your incredible support of our district. Together, we will do great things for the children of Lansing.
Benjamin Shuldiner, Superintendent
Lansing School District
Meet Our Featured Student!
Marisol Palacios is a cohort member of the Future Proud Michigan Educator Program at Lansing Eastern High School. Ms. Palacios has dedicated the last two years of her high school experience pursuing her professional dream of becoming a teacher by developing inclusive teaching practices and lessons that foster creative and critical thinking during her clinical experience at Pattengill and at Lansing Eastern. Through her exploration of culture and identity, Ms. Palacios strives for equitable education systems that cultivate healthy learning communities.
Staff Feature of the Week
Mr. Moulton is a self-directed, enthusiastic, secondary Social Studies teacher with a passionate commitment to student development and the learning experience. He has experience in leadership, professional development, curriculum development, and school improvement initiatives. He works collegially with all staff and has a solid foundation in school and community relations. He is adept in all uses of technology and skilled in designing challenging, enriching, and innovative activities that address the diverse interests and needs of students. He has outstanding communication skills and presents information in a variety of ways that emphasize the relevance of class material to the world beyond the school.
Mr. Moulton is an instructional coach, mentor, student government leader, part of the school leadership team, and most importantly establishes quality relationships with students, parents, and all staff. He is committed to teaching and has been at Sexton since 2014. In visiting his classroom, you would see student work, hear student voices, and often see engaged group work. We are proud to have him on our team here at Sexton High School and look forward to his continued involvement in our school community.
In the News
Congratulations to Eastern's Tavion Harden who was awarded this week's WLNS Championship Play of the Week! This award comes after Eastern's Friday night victory over Williamston which saw Harden slam the ball into the net, securing the win.
To read more and see a short video clip, click here!