When I heard that District Superintendent and CEO Jim Cambridge had announced his retirement after 37 years, I knew it was time to catch up with him before he got absorbed into the next stage of his life. He’s worked in a variety of roles from classroom teacher to school and district administrator in School District #62, but it was his progressive approach to education that caught the community’s interest. During his tenure as District Superintendent, he championed ways to improve student and staff engagement, to expand the view of what defines student success and the importance of the arts in public schools. I spoke with Jim Cambridge at his office for insights behind the innovations he has infused into the educational practices in our schools and to reflect on his most enjoyable moments as an educator.

In past issues, I’ve investigated how the diversity of community activity and landscape in the West Shore makes it such an amazingly place to live, work and play. They’re easy themes to explore and even easier to find things to do once you get there! This summer, I set myself a stiffer task: I set out to capture the spirit of music in our community. What started me on this quest, initially, were comments made by musicians I’d interviewed in past issues. Each one, at some point in the interview, credited their school and music teachers for developing their interest and talents