Expect Excellence Every Day: Redefining our #StarkvilleSpark

Convocation 2017 marked the beginning for a new chapter for SOCSD as Superintendent Eddie Peasant shared an expanded vision for our District that is focused on redefining our #StarkvilleSpark, Expect Excellence Every Day.

Several years ago, this district made a commitment to a common vision…
“Through rigorous and relevant learning experiences in every classroom, Starkville Oktibbeha
School District is sparking the flame of success in our students.”

A worthy goal and a worthy vision. But, in my short time as superintendent, I’ve recognized that Starkville Oktibbeha School District has a depth of potential that demands we think way bigger than just “success.” As we embark on this new school year and the first of my tenure here, I’m asking you to commit to that vision in a new way. Not to merely spark success — better grades, better test scores, more wins, more scholarships. I still expect all those things, but simply as the fruit of something more remarkable. Our potential demands a bigger and broader goal that
surpasses the common benchmarks of mere success. I’m asking you to spark the flame of
excellence.

Excellence.

It’s defined as the state of being “eminently” good. Unusually good. So good as to “surpass ordinary
standards.”
It’s a pervasive quality. A big one. An all encompassing one.
To excel in one, or two, or a few areas is good. But it’s not excellence.
Not really.
No, to be characterized as excellent is to excel in not only the few, common and readily
recognized areas, but to excel in the whole. Surpassing ordinary standards in every area, at every
level, every day.
Not just one school, but every school.
Not just this teacher, but every teacher.
Not just a few programs, but every program.
Not just one team, but every team.
Not only one child, but EVERY child.
Only then can we claim to have achieved excellence.

My goal and dream for the Starkville Oktibbeha School District is to earn the moniker of
excellence, without reservations, without excuses, and without exceptions. I want our district to
redefine what it means to be “excellent” across our state. When we say #StarkvilleSpark, it should
mean one thing… unqualified excellence.

How do we ignite that flame of excellence?
It still begins with a spark —one I’m striking with you right now…
Expect excellence every day.
Our potential demands that we expect nothing less than excellence of ourselves. Of our students.
Of our district.
Every day, in every word and action, we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to excellence.
And our belief that our students, our teachers and our district can and will achieve it. As we work
together, we expect excellence. As we learn and teach new things, we expect excellence. As we
grow and change and move forward, we expect excellence.

Expect excellence every day.

It’s the unrelenting, unreserved commitment I’m making to you today.
And, it’s the unrelenting, unreserved commitment I’m asking each of you to make to yourselves, to
your staff, to your students and to this district.
You are the #StarkvilleSpark. Through your spark, the flame of excellence ignites.

Now, will our district achieve excellence when our students arrive on August 7? Probably not. The
path to excellence will take time and diligent work. We’ll rely on those areas where we already
excel. We’ll celebrate successes. We’ll continue to identify and pursue change in areas where we
fall short. But, what I hope we will achieve on August 7 and every day after is this unwavering
commitment to expect what we know is possible… excellence. We strike that spark today. And as
the fire of excellence ignites, it can’t help but spread, moving through our administrative team, our
teachers and our schools. Excellence fuels excellence as it moves from program to program, from
classroom to classroom. As the spark touches our students, they will know that excellence is
possible. They will see excellence every day in everything we do. They will learn to expect
excellence every day, because we do.

So, I am asking you to say with me today… This is MY commitment to every student, every day. To
ignite the spark of excellence. And fuel it.

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