From the Desk of Dave Mueller, Chairman of the Board
Earlier this month, the Medina City Schools conducted a community visioning process designed to seek comprehensive feedback from all community stakeholders including teachers, parents, business owners, residents and retirees. The event was well attended at Weymouth Country Club with over 350 members from the community including many Chamber members. The summit was designed to focus on the districts strengths rather than the weaknesses.
As I listen to Dr. Stepp’s opening remarks I couldn’t help but notice the sponsors for the two day summit. There was the Chamber itself but there was a host of other Chamber members who contributed financially. In fact, the majority of the sponsors were chamber members. This is certainly testimony to our membership. Our members understand the symbiotic relationship between our schools and our community.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the Chamber and its members would be so willing to financially support a collaborative process that brings a critical asset (our school district) together with our community stakeholders. It was a process that provided all stakeholders an opportunity to discuss their opinions and visions for our school district in an extremely positive environment. Each stakeholder was asked to contribute knowledge, experience and ideas based on their perspectives.
While working through the two day ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ process it was clear that everyone thought that one of Medina’s many strengths is its tight-knit sense of community. The other theme echoed throughout the summit was that the school district must actively engage all community stakeholders if the school districted wants to continue with its ‘Excellent’ rating. A community is just not made up of a single stakeholder. There is a delicate balance of local funding vs. stakeholder return. Any school district that focuses on a single stakeholder is bound to upset the balance of local funding.
To steal a line from the Chambers February 2010 Position Paper on our schools, “The Chamber recognizes the critical importance of having an excellent school district. An excellent school district contributes to economic development, quality of life and increased employment opportunities for a community.” I am proud to say that the actions of our Chamber and our membership clearly supports our words.
I would like to extend my appreciations to the Medina City School District, and the following Chamber members for supporting such a great collaborative effort:
· Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce
· Medina Hospital
· Medina Vision and Laser Centre
· RICO Manufacturing
· Weymouth Country Club