Newly-hired North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin faced her detractors during last night’s school board meeting amid their announcement of plans to affect change within the corporation.
She acknowledged the challenges of the budget and declining enrollment before addressing criticisms of the high school’s academic standings offered during last week’s public hearing on her contract.”
“My naysayers used the word ‘failed.’ Failed in their minds, but remember, we’ve never received an F, and we currently stand at a C, and we keep working. I do want to talk about failure and success. Failure to me means simply not trying. Success means giving it your all every single day at everything you do,” Zupin said.
She adds N.J.-S.P. didn’t emphasize “the test” until a few years ago because they didn’t believe it defined a student. Zupin says they’ve been forced to change due to the heavy weight state officials put on standardized test results when it comes to grading schools.
She also cited academic and athletic successes, including a 90 percent graduation rate and 18 Lilly Endowment Scholarship recipients since 1999 while acknowledging a weakness in math at the secondary level.
“We need to improve the students’ confidence in math and their mastery, and we’re working on that. I know that actions speak louder than words, and so I’m asking all of you, and my naysayers, to please watch my actions. I really pledge to work with and for you to make us proud again.”
Zupin says her immediate priorities are to help select the new junior/senior high school principal and finish the reorganization plans for the combined facility. She also intends to focus on community outreach.
“I know we have community morale issues. I know you want information. I know one of the pieces of information you want are where are students going, and where are we getting students from. I am in the process of obtaining that information for everyone. That should give us a start in how we market our school. I’ve heard that continuously in our meetings.”
School Board President Pat Goin said Zupin truly is the best candidate and has the desire, motivation and drive to help the corporation move forward. She challenged everyone in the community to turn negative comments about the schools around and put the positive back in the community.