As a child my favorite book was Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could. Every time I interviewed a staff member at Taylor County Schools that book came to mind.
This is a district that had no reason to succeed other than the grit and determination of the superintendent, their board, and their staff. Yes, this was an amazing collaborative effort (everyone is exhorted to innovate). Yes, the district is small (three schools). Yes, their methods are very unconventional (they have personalized learning for every student). Yes, their enrollment is 60% economically disadvantaged. Yes, the superintendent was a child of poverty himself.
And with all those advantages and disadvantages, they still managed to bring the children everything they needed for success in life! This was a story worth telling.