OPINION COLUMNS

An open letter to the Boyd Community

By John Emshoff | Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I came to Boyd ISD in January of 2006. It was and always will be an honor to have been selected as the first-ever assistant principal for Boyd High School. It was an even greater honor to be selected to be the principal at Boyd High and eventually to serve as the superintendent of schools.

John Emshoff

First and most importantly, I would like to address all of my former students at Boyd High School. The five years I spent on the campus of the old high school were the best five years of my professional life. I enjoyed the privilege of being a part of your lives.

It was very rewarding to observe and participate in the development of so many of you into young adults. Sometimes we butted heads, but we usually found a common ground.

I tried very hard to impart a few values on you. Values such as hard work, honesty, character and doing the right thing were among the things we often discussed. I also spoke with you both individually and in groups about being able to overcome adversity in your life.

Adversity happens to all of us; sometimes we are victims of it, and sometimes it is self-imposed. Whether it is fair or not, the important thing to remember when adversity comes along and knocks you down, is that you must get back up!

Adversity has come my way many times throughout my life, and it returned very recently, knocking me down with quite an unexpected and unfair blow. But, as I would always encourage you to do, I got up and got back on my feet, and I am a stronger person for it.

I told you all many times that I will always be available to you if you ever need me for any reason or just to talk. You can now find me in the administration building at Lake Worth ISD where I have begun a new chapter in my career as the director of special services.

Occasionally, you might even find me on Facebook where you would be a welcome friend. Isaiah 40:31

To the faculty and staff of Boyd ISD: It has been a great privilege to have both led and worked alongside you for the past seven years. I have always believed and still maintain that Boyd ISD has the potential to transform itself into a truly great district, if only it has the will to make the necessary changes to do so.

I want to thank the many of you who have contacted me with your support over the last couple of months. Your words and sentiments have been very encouraging, and I am grateful to you all.

For the staff members who participated in resisting change and conspired in the gossip that ended my administration, I hope that things work out better for you and that you can find peace as I have. Romans 2:1

To the parents and community members of Boyd: It has been a privilege working with your children, leading your high school and leading your district. It is my hope that you believe that I leave the district a better place than when I arrived.

In addition to the many visible improvements made to the older facilities and buildings, I have always strived to raise the level of expectations of our students and our staff. It was always my goal to set a new standard of excellence for the district, to improve the quality of education your children received and help improve the reputation and image of Boyd ISD.

To accomplish these things I needed to clean up some things and make some long overdue changes. Often, in doing what I knew in my heart to be the right thing ethically, morally and legally, I damaged myself politically.

In the end, I learned the lesson that doing the right thing often comes at a personal price … but to have compromised my values would have come at a greater price. God Bless.

Emshoff is a former Boyd ISD superintendent, high school principal and assistant principal.

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