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The stories unfolding in the lives of our kids become the foundations of who they become as adults, and often the basis of inspiration for their peers. Those stories, as well as those of their teachers, community volunteers, and district staff members, constitute more than the backdrop for what we’re doing in the District’s five schools, they represent who we are and how we’re making a difference, not just in our five schools, but in our world. 

From the Superintendent
Kids First. This is the central message the entire team serving the Ottawa Elementary School District is committed to carrying with them every day. That message may seem obvious to you. But, as we begin together, on what will be some of the most important moments for the children of our community, I never want any of us to lose sight of our purpose here: Kids First.

You’re holding in your hands the inaugural issue of Visions141, which features a few of those important stories. Research (and common sense) has, for years, demonstrated that by strengthening the awareness of what’s happening in our schools, we have a shot at strengthening the engagement between schools, families, and community members. And by doing that, we can all positively impact student preparedness, achievement, and outcomes. Apart from the safety of our students, few things matter to me more than this. Kids First.

In the coming year, Visions141 Magazine will share many of the stories from within our schools, and will offer behind-the-scenes glimpses of the remarkable people who are educating our community’s next generation. You may have already noticed, we’ve got our own monthly Visions141 Podcast, featuring interviews with those making a difference in our school community, as well as a QR-coded, online extension of our quarterly magazine you’ll see in the form of an occasional postcard linked to the web. 


Whether you have children in the District or not, you are an essential part our school community. This is your district, and my hope is that by sharing the stories of our kids and our education team, we might come to a fuller appreciation of just how much we all mean to one another and to the kids of our community. Your ideas and contribution of time and talent are always welcome here. Because… Kids First.




Dr. Michelle Lee

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