Continuous Improvement by Dr. Zachary Templeton, Superintendent

Good, better, best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better and your better is best.

Those words were printed on a poster in the hallway of my high school more than 25 years ago. For whatever reason, I compulsively read and reread those words every time I walked past the poster. Understand that I have seen hundreds of posters with inspiring words of wisdom throughout my career as an educator, but that one poster is the only one I can quote by memory. It’s simple, it rhymes, uses some repetition and I read it over and over, which is probably why I remember it to this day.

Today, these words connect with me, as an educator, because they represent an idea of continuous improvement that we are striving for at Mexico Public Schools.

Knowing that no matter where we stand today, our goal is to be better tomorrow. Small improvements over an extended period of time can lead to great results. This holds true on the individual level as well as the institutional level. It is critical that we impart on students that no matter what they are currently capable of, there is always a chance to improve through hard work and determination. This is true in academics, athletics, performance events, social interactions, and every other aspect of a person’s life. We get better by constantly learning from our mistakes and putting in the time and effort to hone our abilities.

As we begin the 2017-18 school year our focus is to pursue the idea of achieving “All Time Best” results by steadily making improvements that ultimately will make us great. Thinking in terms of “All Time Best” keeps our goals within reach. No matter how well we did on the last attempt, we are able to set a new “All Time Best” by doing just a little bit better.  We believe that success leads to success. The internal motivation to succeed inspires effort, determination, and grit; all skills that are crucial to future success. Our job as a school district is to help young people succeed. While success looks different for everyone, it always comes from continual effort towards being better tomorrow than you are today.

In the past five years, as an employee of Mexico Public Schools, I have witnessed examples of “All Time Best” results through continual improvement. Look no further than our high school wrestling team who finished 9th in 2015, then 5th in 2016 and finally, in 2017, the team finished second in the state which was their best finish in team history. I am confident that this year’s team will have a goal of finishing in the top spot. The team was good, got better (every year) and now are trying to be the best in the state. Our preliminary MAP testing results indicate that our elementary schools scored better this past year than they ever had before. A new All Time Best! Our goal is to be better next year. 
Our school system has great students who want to succeed. It is our job to create an environment where success is possible. The teachers, counselors, principals, support staff members all work hard to ensure that we improve and we never let it rest until our good is better and our better is best.