Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Together, let's strive toward greatness

| July 21, 2022 1:00 AM

Hello to all community members of the West Bonner County School District!

My name is Jackie Branum, and I am your new superintendent of schools. As you may, or may not have noticed on the lighted reader board in front of the Priest River Junior High, the district gave a personal invite to anyone interested to meet me at the July 20 board meeting at the district office. I truly thank all those in attendance!

In the event that you did not get to attend this meeting, I would like to share a snapshot of my 90-day entry plan into the district.

The purpose of this entry plan is to establish a set of activities that will guide my transition to the role of superintendent of schools for the West Bonner County School District while energizing the community and creating a new excitement for a structurally sound, educational roadmap. Unlike many, I will not “hit the ground running:” instead, I will “hit the ground listening and learning” to enhance efforts for leading, efficiently and effectively. Established activities will be designed to assist in:

• Gathering information swiftly about the community and the organization;

• Establishing a strong presence, internally and externally;

• Evaluating the organization’s strengths and limitations;

• Ascertaining critical issues;

• Building on strengths;

• Addressing limitations immediately; and

• Creating a network of contacts and resources that will assist in continuing the work of enhancing West Bonner County School District to ensure equity and excellence for all students.

The primary goal is to employ a structurally sound educational roadmap to ensure the academic and social success of the district’s approximately 1,082 students; thus, preparing them to be positioned to perform and to serve as productive citizens of the United States, and also abroad if they so choose. As your school district leader, I can assure you, collectively, we will bring this vision to fruition. I share the board’s sense of urgency and will engage and impress upon the entire West Bonner County communities our urgency for continued/improved student success. Moreover, in our efforts to listen and learn as we prepare to lead efficiently and effectively, during my first 90 days, we will create a “framework / revisions” for our five-year strategic plan all while thriving to meet immediate goals, objectives and major activities.

The entry plan will consist of three phases. Listening and learning will be the focus of the majority of Phase I and Phase II. These phases will be comprised of meetings and sessions with internal and external stakeholders including, but not limited to the elected school board, central office staff, school administrators and staff, teachers, students, parents, business and community leaders, appointed and elected state officials, the faith-based community, and other foundations, agencies and entities. Simultaneously, I will oversee the day-to-day operations of the district. In the process of listening and learning, a “SWOT” (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis will be utilized to assimilate information. In other words, I will strive to ascertain the strengths, limitations and the barriers that are preventing the district from realizing its fullest potential as a successful school district. Phase III will involve the compilation of this data — developing a plan of action and the implementation of the plan. Additionally, the goals, objectives and activities in this plan are not listed in any particular sequence order of completion or importance. Meetings and sessions will be conducted based on scheduling and other factors. Activities may be implemented based on factors to be determined during the process. In reality, the listening and learning process will cover many areas with some overlapping or overarching emphasis.

As you can see, there will be much listening and learning that will take place! Community members will be welcomed to join me during bi-monthly “Critical Community Conversations” (3Cs) meetings to be held at the district office. The schedule for such meetings is currently being developed and will be posted on the Priest River reader board, in the local newspapers, and at local schools to name a few.

I truly look forward to working with you all in order to meet the WBCSD mission: “Strive For Greatness!”


Priest River

West Bonner County School District


Recent Headlines