MARYSVILLE — Dr. Becky Berg was sworn in and presided over her first Marysville School Board meeting as superintendent of the school district on Monday, July 8, and as she took the seat of her new role, she was acutely conscious of the legacy that she has to live up to.
“From where the Board and superintendent sit in the Board room, we face a wall with the names of former Board members and superintendents dating back to the early 1960s,” Berg said. “I’ve read those names, and I’m struck by those who have gone before, who have dedicated their lives and careers to public service, and more importantly to the children of the Marysville and Tulalip communities. I am humbled and challenged to take the symbolic baton from those in our past, and to help lead our fine district into the future.”
Although Berg has already interacted with members of those communities on several occasions, including the Marysville School District’s strategic leadership transitioning meeting on June 18, she remains reticent to draw more than general conclusions.
“At this point, I’ve officially been on the job just a few weeks,” Berg said. “In this short amount of time in the position, I would be remiss to make profound judgements about the community that I now call home. I will say, however, that those whom I have met have a deep commitment to children and their futures. They also have a deep local pride and great optimism about the future of Marysville and Tulalip.”
Berg shares that sense of optimism, and echoed Marysville School Board President Chris Nation’s frequent refrain that the community needs to know the district’s success stories.
“Marysville and Tulalip have so much to be proud of, and are second to none in relation to other communities and school districts,” Berg said. “We do have far to go, however, until we reach our mission of each child, every day, as well as 100 percent graduation, but there is simply no reason we cannot reach our goals. I so look forward to coming together to envision the next few years for our school district.”
Berg repeated the quote attributed to Chief Sitting Bull, “Let us put our heads to together and see what life we will make for our children.”
To that end, Berg explained that she and the Board are committed to listening to the community members, families and employees of the district, to understand its history and complexities, while still managing its day-to-day operations and preparing for the reopening of school in September. In the long term, the district is approaching the end of the Board’s four-year goals, as well as the sunsetting of the current maintenance and operations levy.
“[That levy] is vital funding for school districts such as ours,” Berg said. “We will follow the lead of our Board of Directors, as we discuss initiating the next stage of strategic planning, and consideration of renewal of our maintenance and operations levy, which our community has supported for years.”
On Monday, July 15, Berg began a week-long vacation, but far from relaxing on a beach, she’ll be working in Washington, D.C., with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, a nonprofit group with 140,000 members worldwide that’s concerned with issues of learning, teaching and leading. Berg currently volunteers as the president of ASCD.
“I find this kind of working vacation so exhilarating, because when we come together from across the globe, to learn from each other and to advance the mission of success for each and every child, there is no stopping us,” Berg said. “An additional bonus from this kind of volunteer work is that I come home with new ideas and solutions that directly benefit the students of Marysville and Tulalip. I am so energized and thrilled to be a part of the Marysville School District. If anyone has ideas, or would like to meet and discuss the future of our students, just give me a call.”