Today Matters » Now, more than ever, Today Matters

Now, more than ever, Today Matters

October 16, 2020

After several months of attending to ensuring we are providing solid instruction to our students, while adhering to guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone, I am happy to reintroduce the Superintendent’s Blog, “Today Matters.” This blog will offer yet another way for us to connect with our families and school community; sharing stories, thoughts, and commentary about life inside our buildings with those we serve.


With this blog, we will return to the original schedule of being posted on the first and third Friday of each month. I encourage you to read along and engage with us, as I cover a wide range of relevant topics. Over the years, we have had tens of thousands of readers enjoying the quick updates on Forest Ridge School District 142, highlighting the exemplary work we do to provide our students.


With everything going on around us, a global pandemic, social/racial unrest, a contentious political landscape, and more, it can be easy to default to the negative. Pick up a newspaper, read a few lines on Facebook, or in the social media posts ever present and in voluminous amounts and you may to come to the same conclusion. So what do we do about this? How do we respond… and better yet, how does this impact our young people?


The Happiness AdvantageHere in District 142, we decided to take a look at a book entitled, The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor. This 210-page read promotes the idea of positive psychology and challenges the notion that hard work alone leads to happiness. Rather, the research presented suggests that happiness leads to success, which inspires each of us to dig deeper and work harder at are respective jobs/careers. Each year, I choose a book for a Superintendent’s Book Club for our whole staff. This year, nearly 75 District 142 employees from all positions (principals and paraprofessionals, teachers and Board Members, administrators and secretaries) all voluntarily signed on to read this book. Together we will explore if this methodology could help us be even more positive and thus lead to higher levels of productivity, student achievement, and satisfaction with our work.


Chasing ExtraordinaryOur theme for this school year is “Chasing Extraordinary!” What we determined was that in order to be extraordinary, you had to do something that the average person was not willing to consider. You had to work a little harder, stay a little longer, show up when others wouldn’t, and connect a little deeper. We do this to ever-improve the quality of our work and to ensure our students receive a world-class education.


Stay tuned for additional topics in the Superintendent’s Blog, and thank you for your partnership in raising up the next generation!




Paul McDermott