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“To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together.” Thank you to the Bismarck Public Schools community. It has been both my honor and duty to lead BPS since 2011.

Along with mistakes made and lessons learned, I feel gratitude that: we built three schools, added to and/or renovated eight more, found a home for SCHS at Riverside, improved campus safety in all preK-8s and emergency operations procedures across BPS, added an SRO, worked together to re-boundary the entire district, and rolled sixth grade to middle and ninth grade to high school.

Communications improved through our new website; BPS is on social media. Advisory groups have assisted BPS in addressing complex issues such as cyber bullying, some of which is sadly modeled by adults. BPS deployed new software in accounting and human resources, moving from paper to online. Over 600 policies were improved and a new model of governance begun — and yet, the 2012 school board directed me to bring this school district into the 21st century. AdvancEd, an accrediting agency for 32,000 institutions worldwide which serve 20 million students, is the agency tasked with measuring if that got done.

This spring, AdvancEd conducted its five-year site visit; they found BPS earned a score of 3.58 out of 4, the highest score I have ever seen. AdvancEd praised BPS for its culture of learning, use of instructional coaches to support teachers, and servant leaders across the system.

Please offer Jim Haussler the warm welcome and support offered me. Remember the nature of public education: issues arise, issues are resolved. Then new issues come, some days one-by-one; other days by the rail car. BPS will tackle each issue well, particularly with Jim’s leadership and your gracious support.

Best wishes to BPS!

Tamara Uselman, Bismarck

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