I applaud the school board for unanimously selecting Dr. Matthew Gutierrez as our next superintendent. I welcome his leadership, past experiences, and ingenuity as he takes on this very complex and difficult assignment.

The Boys & Girls Clubs has become a critical partner with MMSD as our donors invest annually almost $2 million in our public schools to prepare students for college. That investment allows us to pay for tutors, college tours, internships, and much more.

Because of this investment, a strong commitment to partner and outside of the box thinking, we have more than 1,000 MMSD students enrolled in colleges and universities around the country, who may not have had that opportunity without this partnership. We need a superintendent that is going to hit the ground running, feel welcomed in our community, and work to continue to ensure young people have pathways to college and or careers.

I have talked at length with Dr. Matthew Gutierrez, on several occasions over the last few months, and can tell he is excited to work with all of MMSD stakeholders to tackle some of the district’s most challenging issues. He is well aware of the issues surrounding racial inequities and we will, like many others work with him in tackling the disparities which exist.

Let’s be open-minded and give our new school superintendent an opportunity to excel. Let’s encourage partnerships and collaboration to help him succeed. At the same time, be ready to hold him accountable for the work that needs to be done. Our children need his leadership! Our children need him to succeed, and most importantly our children need our collective political will to create brighter pathways for them.