Who We Are – Dusty Blakey

“Let’s work smarter, not harder,” is something retiring Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey repeated again and again as Colonial’s top administrator, and during his 19 years with the district, that’s exactly what he did. While rising through the ranks Blakey saw a real need to empower principals, teachers, and staff to think outside of the box saying, “the box is only as big as we make it.” With Blakey’s encouragement, Colonial educators embarked on many non-traditional ways to benefit students both inside the classroom and out. From trading in student desks for flexible seating like comfortable sofas to embracing technology and new practices like mindfulness meditation, classroom instruction began to shift under Blakey’s watch. Among other things, he spearheaded a move to transform William Penn’s library into an Innovation Center modeled like those found on college campuses, and he was the first in Delaware to place Wellness Centers in elementary schools, he expanded the district’s pre-K program to include students who are funded by the state’s Purchase of Care program. Blakey also led a movement called the Power of WE with four pillars-early childhood, leadership and learning, innovation, and access and opportunity; but more than that, Blakey saw to it that the Power of WE sent a message that 21st-century education takes collaboration with families, businesses and individuals who have the best interest of students at heart. The Colonial School District gained local, national, and international attention because Blakey strongly believed that communication with the masses and transparency was the best way to distinguish the district from all others.

Dusty is #WhoWEAre.