Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

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Finding Authenticity
The Legend of Bagger Vance is one of my favorite movies. The story is layered with messages and parables that cover a variety of topics in life. One of my favorite messages is a moment when Bagger Vance teaches a young boy about finding his authentic swing. While golf is the setting, the message is more about finding who you are at your core.
I have been thinking a great deal about what matters most in our work. Our District is a place that figuratively drips achievement and excellence. While that is indisputably true, we need to critically ask if we are equally successful in helping our students and staff to find their authentic selves? It can be argued that finding 'voice' far exceeds the importance of finding the right answer. While an answer to a discrete question may someday fade from memory, core values and an authentic voice may remain intact forever.
We live, study, and work in a system with rules and norms. Within that system, there is still room for individual opinions, perspectives, hopes, aspirations, needs, wants, and dreams. We can do better to foster the development of our students' authentic voices in the future. We will hear many opinions about the pending direction of education across our country, on the news, and through legislators. Maybe this is the year that we decide that most of what makes us special and capable of unique greatness is already there. Perhaps, this is the year we shift to the idea of 'adding water' and watching everyone grow. I think often about education and our Hill. As always, I believe our best days are ahead and our future is limitless. Be the best you!
Don Austin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Follow us on Twitter:  @DonAustin_PVP and @pvpschools 
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