XENIA — It’s only been 10 days, officially, that Denny Morrison has been interim superintendent for Xenia Community Schools. But he said the community has made him feel like he’s home.
“I can’t believe how the reaction has been,” Morrison said. “It seems like everywhere I go people have their arms open, they shake my hand and say ‘Welcome to Xenia’. It has just made me feel so welcome.”
Morrison said he’s noticed something about people in the Xenia district.
“People here are so passionate about the schools,” he said. “I can only say it is wonderful to see so many people who want to make the schools better and seem willing to help.
“I’m sure you’ve heard me say ‘all of us are smarter than any one of us’,” Morrison continued. “I know there are people out there who are just waiting for a chance to make this school district better because they think of it as their own district.”
Morrison reaffirmed his belief in the district spreading what he calls “old fashioned values.”
“I went to the sports awards at Warner Middle School and was so proud of the young men and ladies,” he said. “The girls were all wearing dresses, the boys all had on ties. When they spoke to me, it was ‘sir’.
“That’s what I’m talking about.”
He also reaffirmed that, while state testing is important to see that students are at the proper level, they can’t be the only measuring of a student. He added that teaching each student things that will make them an all-around person are important, too.
“We are doing what’s best for the kids,” he said. “What’s best for the taxpayers, too — are they getting their money’s worth out of their investment.”
Morrison said volunteers are important to the district, but it can be difficult for individuals to put forth the effort.
“We know it can be a long process,” he said. “There are state mandates we have to do before someone comes into the schools with finger printing and so on. But I’m hoping we can fix some things to make them easier.
“If possible, we’d like to bring everyone who wants to volunteer together at one time and maybe do all the steps needed,” Morrison continued. “If everyone could get the finger printing out of the way at one time it would be a plus. We can’t do anything about the cost, but maybe there is someone out there who would want to sponsor.”
And, after 10 days on the job, Morrison’s beginning to feel like a lot is possible when everyone puts their heads together.
William Duffield can be reached at 937-372-4444 ext. 133 or on Twitter @WilliamDuffield