June 26 Kiwanis Meeting: Michael LaSusa, Superintendent of School District of the Chathams.
Mike LaSusa, former CHS principal and Assistant Superintendent of Schools, has been involved in the Chatham school system for twelve years. Senior students in the district number about 280, of which 90% are expect to attend a four year college. In his remarks to our members, he said that this is an exciting time to be involved in education. Research on cognitive development is expanding rapidly, and school boards are starting to consider the qualities needed for success in life. They are discovering the importance of ability to connect with people, to tolerate diversity, and even to learn another language (usually classified as ‘right brain’ activities). He predicted that eventually a master’s degree in fine arts may come to compete with the MBA degree.
These trends may encourage some reorientation in our schools, including a rediscovery of the values of recess, sports, and other forms of exercise. The movement toward teacher evaluations has already reached Chatham, and the Board has approved the new model calling for a four-year pre-tenure period.
The question period was lively, and Mike received many compliments for his enthusiasm and willingness to look to a bright future for our children.