Today Matters » Welcome Back to School 2018!

Welcome Back to School 2018!

RelentlessnessAugust 24, 2018
Each school year, as the proud Superintendent of Forest Ridge School District 142, I author a blog entitled, “Today Matters.” The purpose of the blog is to communicate thoughts, share wonderful stories, and offer information to our readers. Staff, students, administrators, parents, and colleagues have jumped in on the first and third Fridays of the school year to be kept abreast of the great work we’re doing in education in our district. The blog seems to have found its way into many, many people’s reading lists, as over the years, we have had well over 10,000 views on the content. That being said, “welcome,” or “welcome back,” to discussing the things that matter.
The theme for our school district this year is “relentlessness.” Allow me to share a few words from my opening institute speech, given to our wonderful faculty and staff earlier this week:
Relentlessness… we all know that the rock was not shaped by one powerful wave, it was shaped by the relentlessness of the water, day in and day out, getting into the small places, rounding off a few rough corners, gently, consistently, shaping the rock. We all know that’s it typically not one amazing lesson that shapes a student, it’s the relentlessness — our day in and day out, purposeful work that can alter the trajectory of a student… a young human being, forever.
Some reports suggest that it takes 10 years of 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something. As I look at the students at Ridge… and then consider the amount of time it takes those students to make it through Foster and Kerkstra, and then complete their time at Hille… we are at about ten years. The question becomes, “What do we want our students to be experts at?” That’s a question that, if we really ponder it, will lead us to our purpose. We certainly want them to be great, avid, voracious readers. We want them to be able to write and speak — skills that enable them to communicate their thoughts and feelings. We want them to be able to solve problems, complex problems for that matter, with other people. And we want them to be good, decent, moral human beings who can demonstrate sympathy, empathy, care for others, and who are willing to participate in our society and make positive contributions.
We want to inspire — through daily word and action — that sense of relentlessness, to realize the full potential within each and every student.
So, our team is up for the challenge, ready to meet, greet, and educate the children that come through our doors. In every instance, in every way, we will demonstrate that we love what we do… relentlessly!
Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!