Monday, January 17, 2011

The Worst Part of My Job is...

Losing a student is, by far, worse than budgets, angry people, layoffs, and job stress. I have lost eight students since becoming a superintendent. Even today I could tell you who they were, their personality, and traits they left behind that we all miss to this day. 

Last week we lost Craig Rienhardt, a junior, to cancer. Cancer does not discriminate and is a very cruel disease. Craig was upbeat, kind, energetic, and full of life. His parents and family are very strong people. 

Many of his family came to our basketball game where three students, Austin Gambino, Peter Johnson, and Lindsey Sweet, held a 50/50 raffle and a blue ribbon campaign for Craig. They wanted to give the proceeds ($1,000 in about a half of a basketball game) to Craig and his family the next day as a show of solidarity and strength. Unfortunately, he passed away during the night and the students did not get a chance to get closer with one of their closest friends. On Friday the staff held a one day fundraiser to help the family as well.  What we take away from a situation like this is that as big as we are we are, we are still small enough to come together for good causes and to help bring peace. May we never forget Craig Rienhardt.

Tomorrow night is the "Dialogue with the Superintendent". It will be held in the high school large group instruction room from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. If you have questions for me and you don't want to e-mail them to me, call me and ask them, or see me at an event to talk, then this is the place to be. You can place a question on an index card and I will answer anything that is asked to the best of my ability. Should be fun!

Wednesday night is our Board of Education Meeting. I will be giving an overview of the current budget situation and what things (generally because I have not spoken with affected staff yet) are likely to be reduced as we try to zero in on the actual deficit that the Governor will announce during his State of the State address. I will tell you that at least something from every aspect of our organization will be affected, and I will also share with you that I am in a position where many of the decisions that we have made will affect students. Last year we were largly able to avoid this from happening, but with the size of the impending gap there is just no way to avoid it for a second year.

Thursday and Friday we have our Strategic Planning Sessions. This is where a large group of people gathers to help create the guiding document for the District. This will be an interesting session as District initiatives meet dwindling resources.

Budget aside, I hope to get back into my routine of visiting all of our classrooms so I can see all of the cool things that our students are doing. This is all for now, but stay tuned. If anything changes I will be sure to keep you posted. Have a great week.