Dr. John E. Chapman, III
Superintendent of Schools
My name is John E. Chapman, and I would like to share my educational philosophy from the point of the superintendency. I believe three major factors have to exist for a good district to be a great district—(1) parent/community involvement, (2) communication and (3) accountability.
When a parent is involved in all aspects of a student’s life, whether it is educationally, church or even sports related, majority of students seem to excel. Our students today have more issues to overcome than ever before. Consequently, they need our support. Parents, as well as community members, can have a positive impact on our youth. By attending extracurricular events, volunteering to be a mentor, or just taking the time to say hello to a young person are some of the examples that make community involvement so important within the life of a child, and the life of the school district.
Along with parent/community involvement come communication. In order to have a successful school district, all shareholders have to have common knowledge of goals and objectives. Having a strong effective administration, where you have loyalty and the presentation of a united front, is paramount to success. A strong administration mixed with highly qualified teachers is not successful without a strong communication base. The left hand has to know what the right hand is doing so everyone will be on the same page, so to speak. When the coffee shop talk turns into the athletic forum, it would benefit the school district if the information was accurate and correct. In order for that to happen, community members need to know first-hand information from the actual sources rather than second hand information from inaccurate sources.
Another important factor is accountability. Accountability is a strong word, but when the future citizens and possible leaders of our civic, state, and national organizations are at stake, accountability is a necessity. I believe accountability should be viewed positively, rather than negatively. Accountability within the school system begins with the taxpayers. The taxpayers elect members of the community to represent them, which comprises the governing body of the school district, in other words, the school board. As the school board members are held accountable by the community, the superintendent is held accountable by the school board. The accountability cycle keeps the district within compliance and allows it to run smoothly.
As I contemplate the three aspects of my philosophy, I remind myself why community/parent involvement, communication and accountability are so important. They benefit the future of our children. The bottom line is that in order for children to learn more effectively, more efficiently and more enthusiastically, we have to come together as parents, community members, school leaders and teachers to do the best job for the children. For as the saying goes, “The children are the leaders of tomorrow.”
-- Dr. John E. Chapman III —Superintendent of Schools, Ennis ISD