Hundreds of North Shore Schools employees gathered in the Glenwood Landing Auditorium on the morning before the first day for the district’s first superintendent’s conference. While these types of meetings are a common occurrence at North Shore and most school districts in the area, seeing the superintendent rock out on guitar is less so.
But that’s exactly what Chris Zublionis, superintendent for North Shore, did. This is the second year in a row that he has started off the school year with a music performance, as last year he and several music teachers rocked out to “Under Pressure” by Queen.
This year the superintendent and his impromptu band played “Listen to the Music,” by the Doobie Brothers. Zublionis explained that he and the teachers wanted to start the year off with big energy, and that a musical performance seemed like the perfect way to do it and in keeping with the North Shore’s unique brand of fun.
“We consider ourselves a little different at the North Shore. We do things out of the box,” Zublionis said. “So instead of me just giving a speech and everybody’s just sitting there and listening, we decided to do something a little fun.”
Zublionis and the band chose songs that were fun and high energy while also having a connection to the feelings of the school. “Under Pressure” was chosen because it reflected the sensation many educators in the district felt during the coronavirus pandemic, while “Listen to the Music” was selected this year because the lyrics can apply to the mixed feelings people can have about the school year starting, according to Zublionis.
The superintendent conference has been held at the North Shore for over 30 years. It serves as a professional development day for faculty and staff, where teachers meet with their department heads to help formulate plans and goals for the school year.
It also served as a chance for the district to reiterate its focus on and commitment to “the North Shore Journey,” the district’s new strategic plan. It’s been a topic of conversation in the district for the last year, as the administration has worked to promote the idea of focusing on the student experience in the district.
In that spirit Dr. Andrea Macari, the president of the Board of Education, also addressed the hundreds of faculty and staff members in attendance. Macari thanked them for their commitment to their students and the district, reminding them that it is their efforts which allow the children who walk through the school doors and succeed every day.
“Each one of us are united in our commitment to providing our students with this very special, very unique North Shore experience,” Macari said. “On behalf of the Board of Education, we wish you a year full of purpose and meaning.”