Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

School district welcomes new superintendent

 

Polly Taylor/Pine Bluffs Post

Jon Abrams

He's been on the job almost three months, but arrived in Pine Bluffs long before July 1 in order to get acquainted with the town and Laramie County School District 2. His name is Jon Abrams, and he replaced Jack Cozort, who retired at the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

Abrams, who came to Pine Bluffs after working in the Star Valley School District in Afton for 10 years, says he has never received as warm a welcome as he has since he has been in town.

The new superintendent, who is always on the go meeting new people and discovering things to add to his to-do list, says that every decision he makes, or encourages the board to make, will be based on what is best for the children in the school district.

Abrams said this concept is not always popular with teachers and administration, but eventually they will realize that focusing on how the students will help them to be better than they are, and the teachers and staff will also become better people for their efforts.

The district's graduation rate is an area of concern for Abrams, and he says he will not be happy until it is 100 percent. "It is up to myself and the teachers to talk to students contemplating dropping out of school to make them realize that it is in their best interest to stay in school and graduate," he said.

One of the questions the superintendent says that he asks students is why do so many kids drop out of college – not high school, college. The answer he says he gets most often is that the students are not academically prepare, and he says that is another bullet point on his to-do list – to make sure LCSD2 graduates are prepared when they enter college.

Since arriving in Pine Bluffs Abrams placed a challenge before teachers and administration to establish a scholarship fund to help deserving graduates. The challenge? Give up one soda a week. He laughingly said,"I had one person come up to me an say they just could not give up their soda, but they would gladly give up one salad a week."

So far, Abrams says there has been 100 percent participation, and it is estimated that approximately $6,000 will have been collected by the end of the school year, which will allow the district to give several scholarships in its' inaugural year.

The father of a daughter in eighth grade and four grown sons, the new superintendent feels that the most important work that teachers and staff do is not what crosses their desks everyday, but being good people. He said it is important for everyone to be good mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons.

Abrams said he would rather grow the people who work for the district, not fire them, but that means they need to be good people who make good decisions.

"Sometimes, being in charge I have to say and do things that make people made. Sometimes I just want to go into my office shut the door, and cry because a student or staff member has made an unwise decision . You know when a student ends up in my office, it' must be pretty bad. People have to be honest because the consequences of their unwise decisions only get worse with lies," Abrams said.

One of the most important things on the superintendent's list os to believe in the kids. "If we, as educators, don't believe in the kids, they are not going to believe in themselves."

One of Abrams favorite role models is Colin Powell. The man once said, "It's lonely at the top. The essence of leadership is to make tough decisions."

The new superintendent and his family are in the process of building a new home in Pine Bluffs because he said,"This is where we intend to make our home, and we are looking forward to getting involved in the Pine Bluffs community as well as the communities where our other schools are located."

 

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