On Oct 6th, KITE’s 2020 Annual Meeting was held for the first time on Zoom. The evening celebrated the positive outcomes of agencies and organizations working in collaboration, and how KITE adapted to support children and families with the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
“Presenting the Children’s Champion Award is one of my favorite things for KITE”. LeAnn Beaulieu, KITE Chairperson begins the award portion of the evening. Continuing on to say “It allows us to recognize an individual who – in truth – represents the best in us all. A person, whose work has inspired us, challenged us, and helped us to facilitate the lasting changes that our children and their families need and deserve. This year, we are so proud to present the award to our Superintendent of Schools, Chris Drezek.“
- The Enfield Public Schools slogan is “Every Child, Every Day”, and Chris lives this concept through his work, and never more than during these past 8 months. We know that he has lived the realities of this pandemic in ways most of us will never know and has agonized over each decision that he and his administrative team have had to make, trying to put in place a learning environment and social opportunities for our children and their teachers, while keeping them safe and healthy. Chris has had to take thoughtful risks for Every Child, Every Day, and we are all grateful that he opened the entire Stowe Learning Center for essential child care at the Enfield Child Development Center this summer and Fermi High School for the ERFC support program for the children of our teachers and town employees.
- So many of our teachers and the parents in our community live in a constant state of anxiety, unable to predict or control so much of what impacts their young children. But Chris’s leadership has been open, honest and real and they trust that he is working for Every Child, Every Day. He has encouraged his staff to try . . . to take informed chances . . . and to learn from mistakes. When I asked parents about Chris, they told me he was relatable, caring, and thoughtful. Parents explained that they can hear in his voice, how much he understands their stressors and they trust that he will lead our school district to the best decisions possible even during these impossible times. Chris connects with families and staff, not just as an educator, but as a father who worries about today and has great hopes for tomorrow just as they do. We know, not just the decisions he and his team have had to make, but why.
- I remember sitting at a meeting with Chris over a year ago where a group had been brought together to discuss the very difficult topic of students’ mental health. As many of you know, that discussion most typically centers around the needs of our adolescents; however, Chris refocused the conversation on the needs that his teachers and administrators were seeing in young children, knowing that we have a window of opportunity to affect real change in young minds and behaviors.
- KITE remains grateful for the consistent and sincere support that Chris and the Enfield Public Schools have shown not just for our collaborative, but for young children and their families throughout our community. Chris, I have known you since you first came to our district, and I am so proud of your work and grateful for all that so many of us have been able to achieve because of your caring leadership and unwavering support. We are all fortunate to have this Children’s Champion leading our school district.