Welcome back to school

Welcome back to school from Superintendent Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D.
Posted on 07/27/2018

As I explore the amazing communities within Douglas County, one thing is abundantly clear: I made the right decision to join the Douglas County School District.

Greetings to the parents, students and community members who call Douglas County home! My name is Thomas S. Tucker, and it is a distinct honor and privilege to help lead one of America’s finest - and I do mean finest - public school systems, as I assume the role of your new superintendent.

I have been in the district since July 1 - but to be honest, I already feel very much at home. As I drive around Douglas County visiting our schools and communities, I can’t help but notice the beautiful landscape. The value our residents place on community and family is ever-present.

During the interview process, I visited coffee shops, restaurants, libraries and businesses in the county to learn more about the area and the people who live here. I spoke with patrons, business owners, realtors and more. Throughout my conversations I heard a recurrent theme: there is a great deal of pride in the district and a clear focus on doing what is best for students. That feedback made my decision to join DCSD an easy one.

I consider myself a lifelong learner and career educator. I have made it my own personal mission to help each and every one of DCSD’s 68,000 student be as successful as possible. Did you know DCSD boasts one of the highest graduation rates in the metro area at 90.4 percent? What an accomplishment! But until that number reaches 100 percent, there is still a lot of work to do.

Our staff is also amazing. In fact, DCSD is the largest employer in Douglas County - with 8,400 people all working to help every student succeed. Graduation is the ultimate goal - with the next step being college, career, or military.

It all starts in the classroom for our students - and myself. I have served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of secondary curriculum and superintendent. I have 29 years of experience serving in the Kansas and Ohio public school systems. I am so incredibly proud and honored to add Colorado - and specifically, the Douglas County School District - to that list.

Douglas County is an incredibly special place. When I arrived, I got right to work creating priorities that align to our Board of Education’s End Goals, which I believe are the anchor of our school district. In my entry plan (link to entry plan), I have four main priorities for my first 90 days on the job:

  1. Create a structure to listen and learn comprehensively about Douglas County School District and begin to cultivate trust and confidence through open communication.

  2. Establish a strong working relationship with the Board of Education.

  3. Study in-depth the District’s student performance status and review the financial condition of the system with Chief Financial Officer and the Board of Education.

  4. Promote a culture of excellence and continuous improvement with a focus on student achievement.

 

I feel so privileged to have already met with so many students, parents and staff members to gain insight into what makes DCSD such an amazing place. Douglas County residents have made me feel incredibly welcome here. If we haven’t had a chance to connect and you wish to do so, please reach out: tstucker@dcsdk12.org. I am a firm believer that we all must work together to make DCSD the best it can possibly be!

I give you my promise - you are going to get 110 percent effort out of me each and every day.