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As principal of Riverside Institute of Technology, I am writing to express my support for School Superintendent James Harris.

During his tenure, Harris has opened up a network of communication with parents and students through his weekly superintendent chats. He also has monthly meetings with all of the administrators in our district.

I have been with the district for 30 years and never met with a superintendent more than I have met with Harris. But more importantly, Harris has a vision, and he develops a written blueprint of how we will implement it. Each year he updates his blueprint, but it is always focused on improving instruction and student performance.

Harris continually stresses the importance of parent involvement and has worked very hard to increase that involvement. He always involves himself in the process as well. For example, he was a mentor to a Bennett High School student last year and was instrumental in helping him to graduate. He even attended the graduation.

Also, Harris is solely responsible for reviving and implementing a music program in the district that had long been suffering from lack of participation.

Last year, Riverside greeted seventh- and eighth-graders for the first time. Harris was instrumental in providing us the opportunity to add these students to our academy of science and mathematics by developing a space-utilization committee that involved community members, parents and staff.

We will be ready to receive our students on Sept. 8. This year we will have nine new teachers and our seventh- and eighth-graders are currently attending an orientation program to prepare them for their new school, thanks to Harris and the Board of Education.

As our superintendent, he deserves our respect, support and cooperation.



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