Letter from the Superintendent 2.26.18

Dear Princeton Public Schools Staff, Families, and Community,

Promises to keep. 

I have always loved the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. In particular, I have especially liked the last stanza:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

It seems like only yesterday, as I came to Princeton as the interim superintendent, on January 1, 2013.  A few months later, I was offered the permanent position, and I was so happy to accept! 

This is my 38th year in the field of education, and my sixth year as superintendent.  As I reflect upon my career, the work  I have been fortunate to do in Princeton represents exactly why I chose to be an educator so many years ago.  Students, staff, families, and community here in Princeton are so vibrant, so collaborative, so willing to support each other.  Princeton is a special place.

During the final interview with the school board, they asked me to accomplish these items:
Increase student achievement,
Build a new primary school,
Develop a long range strategic plan,
Market the school district,
Increase enrollment,
Keep us fiscally sound.

Promises to keep.

Student Achievement:  Double digit growth in reading since 2013.  Six of seven grades performing above the state average in reading and math.

Build a New Primary School:  Voila! Thanks to our staff and community, we have a new Primary School, as well as a new gym, new fab lab, new security, new fields,etc.

Strategic Plan:  We have a Strategic Plan, and we are in year two of it.  We also have a district mission, vision, and core values.  

Market the District:  Recently we went through a branding process, in which we adopted a new tiger and brand.  Our new website was launched last fall.

Increase enrollment:  This has been, and continues to be a struggle.  However, we have reversed the trend K-10, and we are currently working on a plan to keep our 11th and 12th graders at a higher rate.  We are in a state of slow growth.

Keep Fiscally Sound:  Our board policy states  we need to have 10% in our fund balance (savings account), and we have 13.7% currently.

Promises to keep.

Even though I know  I have kept the promises, the one thing about my experience here has been this; I love Princeton.  I could not have asked for a greater place to end my career in K-12 education.  How lucky I have been to get to know all of you! I express my deepest appreciation to our school board members, leadership team, all staff and colleagues in every role and position, our students, families and community.  Princeton is a remarkable school district and community. 

Here is my promise to you:  I will do everything in my power to make the transition to the new superintendent as smooth as possible.  I promise you.


Julia A Espe, Ed.D. 
Superintendent of Princeton Public Schools

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