A Lakota Love Letter

In education, May is always a time for celebrations. Congratulating those who have completed their educational journey and are moving on to future pursuits, those moving up to the next grade level and those flying to new heights conquering new challenges. The smell of sunscreen and sounds of pools splashing amid young laughter is quickly approaching as the calendar marches on towards summer. May is a time to look forward to what’s coming and be grateful and proud of what’s behind us. As a Lakota staff member and district parent, I could not be more appreciative for the year we’ve had, and I am incredibly impressed by the entire Lakota community.

Everyone deserves a BIG thank you, from our Superintendent Matt Miller and the rest of our executive team, to our Board of Education, to our administrators, teachers, and staff, the West Chester and Liberty Township communities will be eternally grateful for your leadership, positivity, and fortitude to see us through this challenging school year.

The pandemic rocketed us -all of us- into mostly unfamiliar territory, and we as a community rose to the occasion, pivoting to keep life going the best we could. But you know who really benefited from those required quick adjustments? Our students. Not only did our rock star teachers change the entire way they taught overnight, but our KIDS changed the way they learned too. Our youth are so much more resilient than we often credit them.

In my role at Lakota, my focus is creating relationships with our industry partners and putting together real world learning programming to prepare our students for their futures. Providing these opportunities for our students correlates directly to the Portrait of a Lakota Graduate. This Portrait defines the characteristics our community believes our students should have to be successful members of society.

Throughout this school year, our students have gained more real world learning experience than one would think, in areas they don’t even realize. Regardless of the pandemic, when our students walked back into the classroom in August, our curricular work still expected them to be tech-savvy and up the ante on their written communication skills. They became adept at using email, Canvas, Seesaw, Zoom, Google products, and more. We’ve challenged them to “own” their schedules, manage their learning, and grow using new technology. They’ve risen to these challenges, balancing multiple learning platforms, creating and sharing their work with their teachers electronically, all while figuring out how to do it from their homes with many distractions. To say I’ve been impressed is an understatement.

It is difficult not to look back on 2020-2021 and feel what we’ve lost, but it is also pretty incredible to see what we’ve gained.


Katie Bauer

Strategic Partnerships Coordinator