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I hope this note finds you enjoying our last grasps of winter, and that you were able to fight off the weather to get out and get involved with all that we have going on at Royall. From our boys and girls basketball playoffs and state qualifying wrestlers, to our three different solo and ensemble events, to our Intermediate school talent show, we have had a lot going on. As I attend these events, I continue to receive numerous compliments on our facilities and the many upgrades that we have done. I want to say thank you, to all of you, for supporting the board in these changes and all of our students at these events.

Academically, we continue to create more opportunities for our students in our career and college ready programs. At the same time, we are emphasizing the importance of character in the development of our youth. We had a number of our teachers attend a “Character Lives” presentation on a Saturday in February and our staff leadership teams are working on ways of incorporating character into our curriculums. We are also taking advantage of our wireless upgrade with an internet volume upgrade and our current 1 to 1 onsite computer program.

We have a few more visual improvements in the works for this summer. We have ordered new lockers for the entire intermediate, middle, and high schools. They are scheduled to be installed starting June 4th. We also plan to modernize our intermediate/middle school office area and add new carpet and tile in four different areas. We will also finish replacing the windows in the elementary school.

Financially, the Royall School District has come a long way! We are currently running with a surplus that we will use to pay for the previously mentioned projects. Your tax bills should have gone down and should be relatively stable for the near future. We make our last big debt payment in 2022, which will leave us with only 3 years of payments left on our energy exemption project before we are completely debt free!

The Royall Booster Club will be inducting two individuals and a team into the Royall Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, March 23. Hailey Brown and Brandon Hodge were fabulous athletes when they attended and graduated from Royall High School. The 1965 football team achieved the rare feat of being undefeated! Tickets are on sale in the district office and we would love to have you join us. The Booster Club is always accepting new nominations as well, so if you would like to nominate someone for the Royall Athletic Hall of Fame, you can contact me.

I have reserved Wednesday, March 21, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for my next lunch with the superintendent. It is very simple — join me for lunch to discuss whatever topic you choose, such as budgeting, scheduling, staffing, or even politics. If you can, call and let me know you are coming so we can plan for the appropriate space. If you need me to come to you, that can be arranged too.

See you at school,

Mark Gruen