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Friday, April 8, 2011

Crossing Paths

This Blog entry is rather short compared to normal posts, but I hope that it will be measured by content rather than quantity. I compose the written pieces every evening. And right now I'm really tired after remaining at work in my office until a little after midnight last evening (early this morning). There was much to be done following the school board meeting last night. There were various loose ends to be connected, budget numbers to be reviewed for accuracy, ideas needed for alternative solutions... Since I had been at school since 7:15 that morning, the only time available for the Blog posting yesterday was after the meeting concluded at 10:00pm. I have yet to miss posting an entry on a school day this year so I squeezed that in to the cramped schedule. I'm anxious to catch up on my sleep as soon as I complete this entry.

I enjoy escaping the confines of the office and walking around the school, even if it's only for a few minutes reprieve here and there. It's a reaffirming opportunity because it reminds me of what's important and reinforces our meaning and mission. Also, it's great to leave the office after being held hostage at my desk by the significant amount of work required in developing a budget during a continuing economic crisis.

Anyway, among the interactions I had and the observations I made today while traveling back and forth along the hallways and up and down the stairways of our three story building, was a particularly revealing experience that offers yet another example of the uniqueness of The Heatly School. I had come across the Kindergarten class as they were making their way from the Art room on the second floor back to their classroom downstairs. Each of the children along the lengthy single file line proudly displayed the project they made in class to me as they passed. Every one of them sported a large multi-colored Easter egg decorated with bright designs. They each took turns opening their individual egg, secured by a hinge-like device, to show me the little chick popping out from inside. The wide smiles on the faces of these five year old children instantly proved uplifting. That's another reason I make it a point to get out of the office as frequently as possible. That's what makes the difficult work in the office worthwhile. I am here to serve the learners of Green Island and promote opportunities for them to invent their future.

Soon after the class had descended the stairs in the direction of their room, a straggler came by after picking up something he had forgotten in the Art room. As he walked down the hallway he came across two high school girls strolling ahead of me. They're both members of the senior class. The little boy promptly stopped their progress and showed them his egg, opening it to surprise them with the chick peering out from inside the colorful egg. He was both happy and proud. I could tell that he wanted to impress the much older girls with his creativity. I joined them at that point and stood by watching the exchange. The young ladies were responsive and respectfully polite, each pausing to acknowledge his work and offer him a smile and feigning shock at the surprising appearance of the chick.

I couldn't help taking the opportunity to draw attention to the benefits of a single building school district that houses all grades from Kindergarten through 12th. I thanked the girls for bringing a smile to the boy's face. I asked the girls if they could sense how much their acceptance and recognition meant to the young boy. They chuckled and said he was cute and they thought his Easter egg was cool. I asked them if they realized if they attended one of the many larger high schools in the area that they would never have the chance to interact like this with the little boys and girls of the elementary grades. I reminded them of how much the elementary children look up to the members of our high school and emphasized how their charitable smiles and the brief, but valuable, amount of time they extended to the boy seemed to make his day. They nodded in understanding and agreement as the boy skipped happily down the hall to his class.

I walked back to the office with a little more spring in my step, and back to the stacks of papers covering my desk, reminding myself -  That's why I'm here. That's why the learners of Green Island deserve my very best effort at creating a budget that extends their hopes and sustains their dreams  - without extinguishing the hopes and vanishing the dreams of the taxpayers of Green Island.

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