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It is what it is…

November 19, 2009

It has been said that leaders do not get to choose his or her time to lead, it is chosen for them. This statement has never felt truer than now.  As most of you know, I care deeply about Saline Area Schools.  I often refer to my father graduating from Saline High School, my own experiences as a student in the system from kindergarten through graduation, and the pride I have in the fact that next year I will have all four of my children in school – each one in a different Saline Area School building.  The challenge is before the Board of Education and myself as we work through many issues, most of which may have negative impacts on the students and staff.

We have a choice to make.  As frustrated as I am at Lansing – I refuse to be a victim and I refuse to let Saline Area Schools be victimized.  We must come together as a community, to share in the sacrifices and work towards a brighter future.  Over the next several weeks we will be reviewing options to change the way we currently operate.  My passion for the history and tradition of our schools cannot cloud our push to evolve into the district we can be for all students. Our community is too valuable and our future is too important to get trapped into wishing things were like the “good ole’ days.”

Lately, I have found my self saying, “It is what it is….”  Now is NOT the time to make excuses or to blame others.  Now is the time to unite. We will resolve the budget issues, we will strive to continue to be the premier district in the State of Michigan, focusing on the needs of all of students.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul Hynek permalink
    November 20, 2009 8:44 am


    Your dedication and commitment to Saline Area Schools is truly remarkable. You are the hardest working guy I know. I am confident we as a community will weather this budget crisis and hopefully come out of it stronger and even more focused on what our mission is – educating our children.

  2. David Rhoads permalink
    November 20, 2009 12:01 pm

    There are some very talented, creative people within our school system and I would like to suggest that a Task Force be assembled and charged with identifying a product or service which could be sold on the public market to generate revenue. The steps would be to identify something which Saline already does or could do which would be of interest to others, research the potential market, develop the production process and pricing. Some seed money would be needed to begin production and marketing like any new business but would then generate a profit for the schools. Perhaps, a portion of the profits could be distributed back to the members of the Task Force or used to reward a competition to identify the most promising product or service. I believe that another school system does with the production of a science kit and it has been very successful for them.

  3. November 20, 2009 11:34 pm


    As a relative newcomer to the Saline community (30 yrs), I share in your commitment. We can not let a dysfunctional state government negatively impact our resolve to do what is best for the children in our schools. Let us distance ourselves from those wish to be divisive elements and move forward in this time of financial crisis. We should not negate the contributions of past generations but learn from their legacy. Together we shall weather the storm and be stronger for our efforts.

  4. Deb permalink
    November 21, 2009 11:25 am

    Yes, these are difficult times. Getting past blame or worry is key.

    I appreciate the positive and solution oriented attitude of your post and these comments.

    TOGETHER, we can decide our future and can take where we are and move forward.

  5. Gary bastien permalink
    November 23, 2009 2:23 pm

    I came from a small town too on the West side of the State of Michigan. Everybody that graduated from our town left it forever, never to return. It always impressed me over the years when I met several people in town who were born and raised here, stayed here, and raised thir families here, Scott Graden being one of them.

    We are in a tough spot right now in the school system, but I know everybody in town realizes how lucky we are to have a homegrown, favorite son in charge of doing what is right and best for our school system. To know your kids are all in each of the schools in the system you run is just another asset you bring to your leadership position as Superindendant of Saline Schools.

    We support your decisions and hard work in these difficult times and give thanks to have a homegrown person in such an important leadership role.

    Gary Bastien

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