Former Superintendent of St. Cloud Schools
I have had the pleasure of serving as superintendent of District 742 for the past nine years. The great St. Cloud community has supported me, and more importantly, our students, staff, and families during this time. Fulfilling our mission to engage, inspire, educate, prepare and empower each of our students is only possible through the partnership and support of an entire community. You have been there for us every step of the way. As my term comes to an end, I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude.
To the St. Cloud Rotary, the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce, Centracare, and the Greater St. Cloud Safety Foundation, thank you for the many ways you provide access and opportunity for our youth. You offer our students and our families a wide range of services, from summer programming to career internships and preschool access. I am extremely grateful to you for your partnership.
I am inspired daily by the students, families and staff we serve. Over the past few years, we have sometimes switched roles, families and students were teachers during distance learning and our teachers became students as they learned new ways of teaching in a matter of weeks. All of our staff have taken on new responsibilities and expanded to meet the needs of our students and families. The versatility and adaptability of this school community inspires me.
Thank you to our partners, Boys and Girls Club of Central Minnesota, for providing school-aged care that extends learning in the classroom and gives our students the opportunity to explore career and college options. . Thank you to our higher education partners, St. Cloud Community and Technical College, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, and St. Cloud State University. Over the years, we have developed cohesive and robust educational programs that begin in our high schools, stretch through these educational institutions, and end in a well-trained and connected workforce serving the greater community. of St. Cloud.
To our early childhood partners, including home caregivers, child care providers and early childhood educators, thank you. You provide a foundation of stability that prepares our students to be ready for school. The United Way Partner for Student Success is a loyal friend to our school district, as is the Local Education and Activities Foundation (LEAF). Both organizations have been instrumental in preparing our students for success, whether through pre-school initiatives, direct classroom support, or school activities and funding. Thanks also to the YES network for feeding our students in the evening after the activities and during the summer months. Each of the dedicated individuals who belong to or support these organizations are recognized for preparing our students to succeed in our schools and in our community.
To past and current school board members, thank you for empowering me to serve this school community with integrity and passion. Thank you also to the former superintendents for sharing your wisdom and experience with me. I am also grateful to the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee who provided us with advice and a diversity of perspectives. All of those who have served in these roles are credited with the successes of the past nine years, including a successful referendum to build a new tech high school.
Our mission statement compels us to engage, inspire, educate, prepare and empower our students in partnership with our surrounding community. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our public safety partners. The dedicated women and men who serve in our police and fire departments have provided our school district with unparalleled support. Additionally, I would like to thank the mayors of the communities served by the schools in the St. Cloud area. You are a group of committed leaders providing access to community services through thoughtful and inclusive planning, infrastructure and transportation. I also appreciate the advocacy and support provided by our city councils and state legislators. We are fortunate to have servant leaders, focused on the well-being of our young people, who participate in a political process.
To each of you reading this last message, thank you. Thank you for welcoming me, not only me, but also my family, into this community. As a father, I am grateful to each of the teachers, coaches, staff and community members who supported me during my tenure as superintendent and my own children in their educational journeys. We are blessed to live in this community, a community that not only recognizes the importance of caring for its young people, but also puts their values into action.
“That’s the opinion of Willie Jett, former superintendent of St. Cloud’s schools. Superintendent Spotlight is published in the monthly St. Cloud Times and features the superintendents of ROCORI, St. Cloud, Sartell-St. Stephen and Sauk Rapids-Rice Districts.