Monday, January 30, 2012

When Nothing Else Matters

Friday was the end to a very long week. I love my job, so for me to actually be happy that it was Friday was significant. The entire week had been spent on the kinds of issues that make you realize that no matter how long one has been a superintendent, the phrase "I've seen it all" can never be uttered. 

Four days of personnel, operational, academic, athletic, state mandate, community, and budget cases were all battled and solved. In this position you can never let things rattle you. We are the rock, the guide, the "boss" or whatever adjective you want to use, and we are not supposed to show emotion. I woke up on Friday, put on a suit, and was ready to cap the week off with some building visits and meetings; until the phone rang and nothing else mattered.

The call was to inform me that Sophie Kawejsza, a third grader at Stonehedge Elementary School, had passed away after a long and hard fought battle with cancer. After all of the notifications and plans were completed, a short quiet time presented itself where I was embarrassed that anything else from the rest of the "difficult week" had gotten to me. Really? When this bright, young, courageous person was taken from our West Genesee family, and her family, by such an unforgiving disease we can only reflect and celebrate what she did for all of us while she was here, which was immeasurable.   EVERYTHING else was and is now secondary, and we will spend the days, weeks, and months ahead reflecting and enjoying the memories of a flower that was picked way too soon.

Calling hours for relatives and friends of Sophie are Tuesday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Immanuel United Methodist Church, 303 Kasson Rd., Camillus; services will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., also at the church. Arrangements are by the Buranich Funeral Home, Camillus. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Sophie's name may be made to Golisano Children's Hospital, c/o University Hospital, 750 E. Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210.  If you do attend, her favorite colors were pink, purple, and blue, and a great way to celebrate her life will be to wear one of those colors in her honor.

I will post another blog later in the week and will update you on our redistricting meetings, some information about four half-days scheduled for next year, and the accomplishments of our athletes and Academic Decathlon team.

Thank you.