Dr. John Tharp is superintendent of Greendale Schools. Dr. Tharp joined the district in August of 2012 and has 20 years of experience in public education. He previously served as an assistant superintendent in a large suburban district in Tennessee for two years. Prior to that, he was a high school principal, assistant principal, teacher, and coach. Dr. Tharp received his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellowship Award winner. He is the author of one book on school reform.
The new school year arrives filled with excitement and new beginnings for our students, staff and families. The enthusiasm is contagious as students are happy to see one another and anxious to make a good first impression on their teachers. It is at this time in the beginning that I am reminded of our critical mission in public education, to build relationships with one another so that all students gain competence and self-confidence.
Public education is the only place where it does not matter who you are, what you look like, where you are from, or what your parents do. We serve all comers as we aim to help each student build on his or her interests and strengths. In the Greendale School District, we serve our village youth as we work to uplift each in the pursuit of success. While the institution of public education has received a great deal of scrutiny and negative press nationally in recent years, our schools continue to excel at producing academically competent and well-rounded students.
This school year marks the final year of the school district’s three year strategic plan, a collection of five goals that serve as the guide to our work since 2012. The goals of this plan include a push for increased academic achievement for students and a more well-rounded experience for each. It aims to increase access to technological tools for students and teachers, with the objective of maintaining a conservative philosophy on spending.
As this school year begins, please let me hear from you and tell me your perspective on education in Greendale, and let me know about any innovative ideas that you may have for our future. As our staff came together August, we reminded each other that collaboration matters, and that the community of Greendale, together, will guarantee a high quality educational experience for each student.
Let’s plan to continue to work together so that our students benefit.John Tharp