Bernier sworn in as superintendent of schools | News, Sports, Jobs

dr Christopher Bernier

dr Christopher Bernier said he is ready to lead one of the most dynamic school districts in the nation, working together with everyone, as the Lee County School District has so much potential and it is his job as the superintendent to realize that.

Bernier shared his entry plan during his swearing in ceremony Monday night. He said he wants to develop a better connection between the superintendent, the public, the greater community and the schools.

“It is my responsibility to listen, to understand and to take the action necessary to address your concerns. I plan to continue that early engagement work that I have already started. I look forward to upcoming town halls, listening tours and campaigns, so I can better develop an appreciation of the issues from the schools and community perspectives,” Bernier said. “Our school district is only as strong as our public’s confidence and community engagement is the best way that I know to drive the perfect and best educational experience for our students and staff.”

He also will focus the district’s efforts to be more efficient, direct funds to the classrooms and schools, work on budget analysis and construction, facility improvement to developing a student assignment plan to prioritize the community. Bernier said he is ready to energize and support the departments and divisions who need to make changes to support student outcomes.

“I am focused on a comprehensive analysis on different district systems and to be a more proficient steward of the taxpayer dollar,” he said. “It is my priority to ensure that the school district both in action and belief embody the core values ​​of belief of students, excellence, integrity, high expectations, accountability and professionalism. The most important thing for me is my integrity. The most important one for our system is the belief in students as our moral and North Star and a point on our compass rose. If our work does not support students, then we need to reevaluate what we are doing and get ourselves back on the correct path.”

Bernier’s focus is on central leadership with all schools having a school centered philosophy.

“Our students cannot wait. Please know that the ‘our’ is us, you, me, and the strength of the collaboration and partnerships between the public and the public school system. That is what creates the sustainability of a shared future. One that puts students at the very forefront,” Bernier said, adding that if you want to go far, go together.

He said let’s make sure we put our efforts towards student achievement and making sure schools are safe and secure.

“I am both humbled and honored to be sworn in tonight as the superintendent of schools for the School District of Lee County,” Bernier said. “This position represents a lifetime of work and this occasion is both a celebration and responsibility. I am thrilled to be celebrating here today with family, colleagues and friends whether present, watching via live stream and my family who is across the east coast this evening. I wanted to say welcome to them, I know they are watching. I also understand while we are celebrating this is a great responsibility of supporting and leading a system with a little bit over a 100,000 students and over 12,000 employees.”

He also took time to thank the people that have helped bring him to the superintendent position, as Monday evening would not have been possible without their love and support of so many.

“To Dr. (Ken) Savage your assistance in my transition to this office and our community and the work you have done with me over the past several weeks has been invaluable. I look forward to continuing our work together for the good of our students and our staff,” Bernier said.

He also addressed the school board members, whom he referred to as his seven bosses.

“I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to lead this school district,” Bernier said. “I promise, as I told you in the interviews and have demonstrated over the last three weeks, and will continue to do so, I will do everything I can to make sure we do everything to support our students, our teachers and our schools. One cannot overstate the ‘our; as we move forward.”

He specified that “our” work needs to be singular in improving the academic and life outcomes for each and every student that is counting upon them. Bernier quoted a favorite movie of his, “For the Love of the Game.”

“Let’s clear the mechanism, let’s reduce the noise and let’s concentrate on the classrooms together,” he said.

Bernier also thanked his family, as they are the reason he is here.

“Your love, your support, your loyalty are things I count upon every single day. I look at you and know that I am the luckiest man on the face of this earth,” he said.

Bernier also addressed the community, as he wanted to share a few things about their new superintendent. When his first child Ryan was born, that changed his perspective as he walked into a classroom the next day.

“At that very moment, while conceptually always understanding that an individual is always someone’s daughter, always someone’s son,” Bernier said, “It was the birth of my own that made me realize that I had a responsibility greater than I had ever imagined. I have never, ever forgotten that level of service that is required of me.”

Over the last few weeks he has seen the potential in Lee County students — in the ROTC members he has met at celebrations; at the amazing drama awards last Friday night, and high school students he has met as he toured their schools and helped prepare for graduation.

“The students are our work,” Bernier said. “I hope what you’ll see is a community that I know is the potential of our students and I can see them in the same light that I see my own. They are present and ready to be inspired. They hold promise and they are looking for opportunities. They see the bright lights and it is our responsibility to make sure every student has the best school district and education that we have to offer. They deserve that and every parent and educator should be one with this endeavor.”

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