There’s no question, the last two years have been challenging, possibly the most challenging many of us have experienced during our lifetimes. But, a new year is here, and as a community, as a nation, and as a world – we embrace a fresh start with hope for the new year.  Positively Osceola asked a number of positive leaders in the community to share their hope and their plans for the new year, and how we can encourage and support each other in 2022.  We asked Dr. Debra Pace, Superintendent, with the School district of Osceola County to share her hope and outlook for 2022.

As we usher in 2022 as a strong and vibrant community, I remain extremely focused on the transformational lessons we have learned over the course of the last two years in light of COVID-19. The Osceola County School Board, our dedicated educators, staff and administrators, and I are working tirelessly to accelerate our core mission of improving education, both for our students and in support of our teachers. As we do so, we are embracing and strengthening our school and district culture through the “lessons learned” from our new realities:

• It is of critical importance that our schools support both learning and the mental health needs of students and our staff members;
• There is tremendous value of both students and staff members working together and learning from each other;
• Our success depends on maximizing digital tools while not losing sight of the value of in-person learning; and
• It is imperative that our schools partner with parents and community members more than ever to ensure our children’s basic needs are met so that nothing is getting in the way of regular daily attendance and full participation in the school community.

My hope is that 2022 brings with it health, safety, happiness, and success for our children and families, as well as the guidance and wisdom for us to continue providing every child, every chance, every day.

Dr. Debra Pace

Superintendent, School District of Osceola County