Another first: How Lakota’s leader decided to update the school community

The first-year leader of Lakota Schools recently added to his growing list of firsts by holding the district’s first, modern-era “State of the Schools.”

Superintendent Matt Miller hosted the inaugural event at Lakota West High School, where he touted the district’s accomplishments and revealed a vision of the future.

“Tonight (is) about giving our community a look inside our schools - at both what is happening now and what we are planning for the future,” Miller told the dozens of school staffers and district residents who sat near a stage set up in the main hallway of the West Chester Twp. school.

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“We are building on a strong foundation at Lakota and engage our kids in learning while providing an education that is student-centered,” he said.

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The event, which is the first of its kind in years for Ohio’s eighth largest school system, wasn’t a one-man show.

During the hour-long event, students and staff members took to the stage to expand on Miller’s points, which included updates on Lakota’s efforts with “STEAM2” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Medicine) Labs; expanded learning technology at junior schools; student achievement; flexible learning spaces; the district’s Career Readiness Academy and school security.

“It’s our students and staff who make this district successful,” said Miller. “Our community needs to hear their stories.”

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Lakota school parent Bridget Reuter appreciated both the novelty of the event and it’s content.

“It showed the energy and excitement I’ve been seeing all over the district,” said the Liberty Twp. resident.

The event “also displayed the direction we are going under Mr. Miller’s leadership,” said Reuter of the superintendent who started work in August and has since launched numerous reforms and changes – many of which incorporate social media as a way for the public to become more engaged in the schools.

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The event also featured the showing of a new, YouTube video entitled “We Are Lakota.”

Reuter said the district’s greatly expanded social media efforts, which includes this school year the creation of the first Lakota Twitter account, “is a great way to let people who don’t have kids in the schools, see what is happening in the schools.”

“We are building on a strong foundation at Lakota and engage our kids in learning while providing an education that is student-centered,” said Miller. “We will continue to be innovative in the classroom and build out the resources for our kids and teachers to help them succeed.”

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