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Litchfield district appoints new district superintendent

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Superintendent Jodi Gunning. (Photo courtesy Litchfield Elementary School District)

By Connor Dziawura

Litchfield Elementary School District named Jodi Gunning superintendent after Dr. Julianne Lein retired early.

Gunning took the reins on August 8.

Lein was expected to retire following the 2017-18 school year; however, the district governing board granted her an early retirement due to health reasons. She recently completed her 10th year as superintendent.

In her new role, Gunning is looking to strengthen the district’s community relationship, and to improve in any way she can.

“It is a privilege to step into this challenging role with an award-winning team that fully understands the value of collaboration and cooperation,” she said.

Gunning, however, isn’t a newcomer to the Litchfield Elementary district. She  came to the district as a Litchfield Elementary School first-grade teacher in 2002. Since then, she has also served the district through a variety of roles, including instructional coach, director of Title I services and Dreaming Summit Elementary School principal.

Gunning is also hoping to strengthen the teamwork among staff. She hopes to accomplish this through the district’s Mission Believe program, which was launched in 2011.

“We will deepen our commitment to Mission Believe, an internal professional development campaign that we launched five years ago to promote teamwork and protect the morale of our entire staff,” she explained.

“Especially in light of a national and statewide teacher shortage, I am taking every measure available to ensure our teachers and staff members are fully confident that our colleagues and community support their noble efforts to educate tomorrow’s workforce.”

Litchfield Elementary School District, which was founded in 1917, is considered an “A” rated district. The district holds more than 11,000 students across its 15 schools, which also include the Palm Valley and Verrado elementary schools.

“As we work to maintain Litchfield’s strong history of excellence, I am focused on nurturing relationships in the community and supporting our award-winning staff as they continue providing high quality education to our students,” Gunning said.

In honor of the district’s 100-year milestone, it plans to unveil celebratory renovations to Litchfield Elementary School’s historic Centennial Way on October 20. Anyone within the community can purchase a custom Legacy Brick, the generated funds of which will be used to create an endowment for district teachers and staff. The district’s governing board will also hold a special override election pertaining to its budget on November 7.

While Gunning is only weeks into the position, she looks forward to the road ahead and is committed to service the community in which her students live.

“I am especially excited about the opportunity to expand my service to children,” she said. “We have more than 11,000 students, and I am eager to apply my passion and experience to help each of them grow and learn.”

 
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