Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Appreciate What You Have Each and Every Day

Appreciate What You Have: On my way home from work I pass a cemetery. Each day I look and see grieving families hovering over a spot on the ground. It is surreal sometimes because my mood is usually happy, and I am thinking about what I am going to do when I get home. The people at the cemetery appear to have lost their absolute everything and are the saddest they have probably ever been.

As a Superintendent, I have worked with tens of thousands of students and families and from time to time tragedy, or near tragedy, has struck. This summer has provided a quadruple dose unfortunately. When I was younger I used to be able to help a family work through a situation and then just go back to work seemingly unfazed. As I have gotten older and my children are grown up and at college, the hurt and sadness sticks with me much longer when these situations arise for others.

I cannot understate the importance to appreciate who you have around you each and every day, because that can change in the blink of an eye. I have seen it, felt it, lived it. Give the extra hug, have the extra conversation, hang out the extra time, and appreciate those who are close to you. Hopefully you will never have to thank me later for the advice. If you cross paths with someone who is experiencing something awful, help them out. Simple as that.

West Genesee High School is a Reward School: On a much more positive note we should all appreciate the school District that we live in and all of the employees who make each and every day of school possible for us. I am certainly proud to come to work every day and was especially proud when I opened up the mail and found that our high school is a New York State Education Department Reward School Award recipient.

This is a VERY rare award to receive and it is given to schools that can demonstrate sustained excellence. The high school received the award because students who have struggled coming out of eighth grade have still been able to graduate on time, our number of Career and Technical Education endorsements has been consistently high, and our graduation rate (completion rate) has been exceptional (currently at 94% in comparison to the state average of 76%). We are all a part of something special; let's keep it going!

By the time I post again, I will have been to the New York State Fair about four times. I cannot wait! Enjoy the rest of the week.