In Longview Public Schools we offer many extracurricular opportunities that teach important lessons beyond what students learn in the classroom.

Sitting in the stands this football season brings back memories of my own coaching experiences—and how they shaped me as a teacher and an administrator.

When I was starting out my career in Whitefish, Montana, I had the great fortune to work as an assistant to two highly skilled coaches: Scott Sword, a football coach who rarely raised his voice, and Julio Delgado, a basketball coach who rarely lowered his.

I learned invaluable lessons from Coach Sword—give maximum effort in everything you do. These mentors always supported kids and staff to do their best every day, including reminding us that when things get tough we must be at our best.

I’ve often reflected on advice from Coach Sword. He taught me to look forward and always remain focused on how we can get better at whatever task we undertake.

As for Delgado, I’ve never met a man who hated to lose more than he did. Still, he taught me that there is something more important than winning. It’s to give all you have—to do everything you possibly can to make your team successful. That advice holds true on the field, on the court, in the classroom and throughout the school district.

I’ve carried these lessons through my career, from my days as an elementary school teacher, coach and principal, into my work as an assistant superintendent and now as your superintendent.

Our staff is working extremely hard, and we share the common goal of giving all we have—as a team. This is leading all of us to be a little better than we were the day before.

The Longview team’s focus is to help every single one of our students read and write better. Period. Students who read and write well graduate from high school. They go on to trade school, college, military service, apprenticeships and get good paying jobs. They effect positive change, create bounty and joy, and have the tools to lead our society toward a better tomorrow.

In Longview, literacy is the most important thing we do, and we give all we have to support student achievement.