The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Andrew Dick
ESU13 Administrator 

A Message From the ESU13 Administrator

Top 10 Takeaways from My Time as ESU13 Administrator

 


As I approach the final eight weeks of my tenure as your ESU 13 Administrator, I find myself reflecting upon all that I have learned, and all that has transpired over the course of the last two years.

The following, in no particular order, are my “Top 10 Takeaways.”

1. When we are able to come to consensus and work cooperatively within the Panhandle, the educational system is stronger. 

2. Through consorting of grant funds, contracting for portions of a needed position, cooperative purchasing, and providing core services, ESUs save Nebraska school districts millions of dollars each year. 

3. As someone who was born and raised in Scottsbluff, graduated from Scottsbluff High School, and then returned home in 2004 to work in public education, I must attest that I never fully realized (or appreciated) the multitude of valuable, essential services and programs that ESU 13 provides to our member school districts.

4. In a time when property taxes are an ongoing focal point of the legislature, essential services and programs are being provided by ESU 13 at a more economical cost than school districts could ever provide the service or program individually. 

5. There are 17 educational service units in Nebraska working together through the Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council (ESUCC) to ensure that we are efficient and effective in statewide efforts, programs, and initiatives. In addition, ESUCC provides a bridge to connect service units with the Nebraska Department of Education for enhanced collaboration as we aim to provide the highest quality educational system for Nebraska. 

6. The early years (birth to five) of our children’s lives are incredibly important. Research has shown us that the more we can invest in early childhood; the better off the trajectory will be for kids, as they grow older.

7. If determined by the local school district, a student in Sioux County, for example, deserves the same educational opportunities as a student in Scotts Bluff County. Through distance learning, coordinated by the ESU, these barriers can be overcome.

8. ESU 13 employs 180 skilled and dedicated individuals who work behind the scenes and within the scenes serving and supporting schools and community partners across 11 counties and 14,000 plus square miles.

9. The merger of ESU 13 with ESU 12 and then ESU 14 expanded the service unit’s financial base and provided for a more comprehensive system for serving and supporting school districts in western Nebraska.

10. There was not a college course that I took that prepared me to lead an organization through a pandemic.

However, because of the partnerships and collaboration that are unique to Nebraska, most notably western Nebraska, the state of Nebraska has been a leader in the United States in implementing safe protocols that have allowed students to be in school since August.

Looking forward, I am eager to see how the lessons we have learned throughout the pandemic influences our work in the future. THANK YOU to each and every one of you that made the most of a dire situation. 

For more information regarding ESU 13 and the range of services offered, please visit our website at http://www.esu13.org. 

 

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