Its biggest test, however, came in 2020, when COVID-19 closed schools across the country and forced LPS officials to make on-the-fly decisions about distance learning, masking and hiding. quarantine.
“He could have (retreated) before the pandemic or at any time… but he thought, ‘No, the district needs me right now, and I’m going to stay and I’m going to see this through to the end.’ , ”Duncan mentioned. “That’s what impresses me the most.
“He was literally working 24 hours a day.”
Joel – who has received numerous awards including State Superintendent of the Year – is an outlier in some ways.
Most urban superintendents, education observers will note, tend not to stay longer than five years. Joël himself always dreamed of moving forward and leading a larger and more complex neighborhood.
But once he got to Lincoln, he seemed reluctant to leave.
“It’s something I’ve been honored and humbled to be named (to) for, and I’ve never looked back,” he said.
The tests remain, recognizes Joël. The pandemic – seeing a resurgence driven by the delta variant – is not over. And the division on masking, sex education, and critical race theory turned schools, education boards, and administrators into political darts.