Tom Boasberg: A final farewell from a grateful leader

On Tom Boasberg’s final day as superintendent of Denver Public Schools, we wanted to share his final farewell to the Denver community. 

Dear DPS Community,

“The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice,” observed abolitionist Theodore Parker in the mid-19th century and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a century later — both periods of great change, fear and hope in our country.

Our history has taught us two powerful lessons on that moral arc.

The first is that the arc does not bend by itself towards justice. It will bend only when all of us come together with a common purpose and pull with all our strength to change the geometry of the curve.

The second lesson is that there is no greater force to shape that arc in our society than education. As educators, that is the most important responsibility and opportunity we have — to drive equity and create opportunity in a society in such need of both. I do not think any of us would have it any other way. That is why we do what we do.

I am deeply grateful for the work that we have all done together to bend the arc in Denver — whether doubling our number of students of color who are graduating every year from DPS and going on to college; dramatically increasing our early childhood education opportunities in our poorest communities; decreasing our dropout rate by two thirds; or attracting so many more families from all across Denver into our public schools.

We know our work in DPS is far from finished. Just as important is that we also know that, working together towards a common vision of the success of every child, we can and will bend the arc further.

After nearly 10 years as your superintendent, I continue to be struck by the strength and purpose of the DPS family. Like all families, we have — and should have — our disagreements and debates about how to best serve our kids.

But we should never let those disagreements divide us from our common purpose. Whether in Northeast or Southwest, in district-run schools or charter schools, in Northwest or Southeast, as school-based or district-based educators, as union members or leaders of teams, we are all part of the DPS family and we do our best work together.

We have tremendous strengths to build on going forward: students with boundless potential, a courageous Board of Education, dedicated teachers, visionary leaders both in schools and at the district level and strong community support. I have great confidence in our DPS family.

As I leave, please accept my deepest thanks for the opportunity of a lifetime to work on Team DPS. Please know that DPS will be in my heart as you all continue to bend our community’s moral arc and, through education, help build a more just, caring and equitable society.

Thank you.


Photo credit: Denver Public Schools

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