As the weather turns cooler, and the leaves fade from vibrant color to dingy gray, a quick glance at the calendar indicates that it is already November. The year is passing quickly. I fondly recall the days gone by. The warm aroma of a roasting turkey stuffed with oyster dressing, laughter of aunts and uncles sitting around the grand table at grandmas, and the cousins playing ball in the yard. Those were good times and ones of which to be thankful. “
It isn’t so much what’s on the table that matters, as what’s on the chairs.”- Walt Disney.
As I reflect on all that is happening in our schools and in public education today, it certainly may seem difficult to find blessings and occasions for which to be thankful. It is easy to dwell on the scrutiny we face, the recent grades that have been released, the failures of referenda, or the plethora of challenges that sweep across our desk every day. Last week, Jamie Vollmer provided inspiration and hope as he espoused the positives public education has to offer. As we transition through the month, focus on those in the “chairs”. The children that we serve every day. The staff that we collaborate with to provide the best experiences for children. We are blessed in many ways. In this season, pause.
Take time to count the blessings; to appreciate all the things of which we have to be thankful. Ponder these words of Charles Dickens. “Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Wishing all of you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving!
“I’m happier than a tornado in a trailer park!” For those who follow Disney movies, you may recognize that phrase from Nader in Cars. I am humbled and honored to serve as president of IAPSS for the 2019-2020 school year. I look forward to continued collaboration with those of you that I know and eager to become acquainted with those whom I have yet to meet. In my installation remarks, I used quotes from Walt Disney and some of his works to illustrate some leadership thoughts.