Letter to the Editor: Arns, Brock, Whitfield examples of loyalty, respect, selfless community service
I proudly write this letter in support of three former partners, teammates and great friends — Shelley Arns, Latonya Brock and Jim Whitfield.
Our time together at Quincy Public Schools was fairly chaotic. We built five new schools, moved 400 of 490 teachers, transitioned to a grades 9-12 high school and a grades 6-8 junior high. We hired outstanding leaders for our new schools, the district office, the junior high, high school and Early Childhood Center.
It was truly a hectic crazy time, and then we had a pandemic. Our team kept the doors open and maneuvered through mandates and a politically charged environment and allowed our teachers and students to do amazing work.
I have always been proud of QPS. Our world-class facilities house a world-class education system. Our students reach their potential with the help and hard work of a dedicated staff. I have seen our students succeed at the best colleges and universities in the country, including our three military academies. I have seen their success in the job sector after completing a program in our career tech program. I have seen our children with severe disabilities reach their potential.
I am proud of our academics at all levels. Our fine arts, our extracurricular programs, our career tech programs are unmatched in western Illinois.
I continue to watch QPS succeed as the old retired guy. (Superintendent) Todd Pettit, his team and our current board are leading us into a great future. They strive to be better every day. They want to improve shortfalls for all the children of Quincy.
Shelley, Latonya and Jim are individuals with strong values, faith, love for children and the Quincy community. We have celebrated many good times and successes, new schools ahead of schedule and under budget, balanced budgets, multiple contracts, student success in classrooms, athletic venues and concert halls.
We have also had a few arguments. We have shed a few tears. We have survived a few tough moments and our share of mean tweets.
Our board has worked hard for Quincy. They want the absolute best for our children. That is their only true motivation.
I wish the best for my three good friends. They are excellent examples of loyalty, respect and selfless community service.
Once a Blue Devil, always a Blue Devil.
Former Quincy Public Schools superintendent
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