New beginnings all around

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New beginnings all around
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BY MELANIE KAY-WYATT, ED.D.

The 2022-23 academic year has drawn to a close in Alexandria City Public Schools. While our students closed out the school year realizing their growth, academically and personally, they look forward to what lies ahead and the impact they will all make in the world.

Members of the Alexandria City High School Class
of 2023 have shown tremendous resilience and acquired
life skills that will enable them to succeed no matter what challenges they may face. As interim superintendent this is my first graduating class and it will forever have a special place in my memories. Next year, I look forward to my first class of graduating seniors as I take on the role of permanent superintendent. New beginnings are in abundance.

On graduation day, our ACHS students celebrated their many accomplishments while in high school and look forward to what their future may hold. Many of our graduating seniors will be college-bound or attending a technical school come fall. Others have plans to join the military.

Some of our students will take a gap year or enter the work force. These are among the first major life decisions the Class of 2023 will make and I know our graduates will take the lessons learned during their years at ACPS and apply them to the various paths they choose to follow.

The growth our graduates have realized during their years at ACPS is also shared by each student within the school division as they move on to the next grade. As each year passes, our students not only learn academically, but they also experience social and emotional growth that will carry them through their lives.

Our students on every grade level can draw inspiration from our graduates as they see what success can look like. We also look forward to welcoming all of our new students who will join us

in August. I encourage all of our students to take pride in who you are and what you have achieved and remain confident to tackle what’s yet to come.

Over the summer months, I am heartened to see many of our ACPS students will be taking advantage of our free summer learning enrichment programs being offered for all current PreK-8 students. These programs help enrich a student’s learning experience while keeping them engaged educationally and ready to take on a new school year.

Summer reading is another way for our students to stay academically connected. Alexandria Library offers read- ing incentives through SummerQuest 2023 to include rising kindergarteners and rising first to fifth graders. Sum- merQuest Teen reaches out to rising sixth and 12th graders. Alexandria Library also offers programs for students of various ages to learn from and enjoy.

Another educational experience awaits in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian Institution museums, the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. Throughout its museums, the arts and culture, history and science are brought to life in its many exhibits.

As I look ahead to the 2023-24 school year with great anticipation, it is truly an honor that my life’s journey has led me to being ACPS’ first Black woman as permanent superintendent. In taking on this role, I will remain true to our mission to ensure success by in- spiring students and addressing barriers to learning.

This moment in time, as I take on my new role at ACPS brings to mind the words of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman:

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

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