Making Today Count: Expressing Appreciation
The month of February has flown by quickly, especially given the number of days we were addressing inclement weather. We are looking forward to the milder temperatures that spring will bring.
February is often dedicated to events that show appreciation for others. Our younger students make special Valentines for their peers and parents. Our older students express appreciation through cards, descriptive writing, and poems.
In some of our schools students read books and wrote stories about gratitude and generosity. They engaged in “Random Acts of Kindness” or expressed their appreciation of others through participation in the Kindness Club. Watching students thoughtfully plan activities to show appreciation for others is heart-warming, especially knowing that these behaviors contribute to the development of caring, considerate children. Students of all ages spent time this month, and many other months as well, showing appreciation for others in a variety of ways, from community service events to school/classroom-wide activities. Some of our student clubs, such as the Aevidum Club and Interact Club, facilitate specific activities that promote the positive recognition of others.
I would also like to share my personal appreciation this month of our Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO’s), Booster Clubs, and other parent organizations. Our district is extremely blessed to have such supportive, generous parents that offer countless hours to our schools, athletic programs, performing arts program, and various clubs. Because of their ongoing positive support of our students, our district benefits in so many ways. Our students see the value of collaborative home-school relationships.
On a similar note, I would like to express appreciation to our parents who have willingly offered their time and support to join our parent task force dedicated to building a strong structure and communication framework for the planning of our new district early learning center for kindergarten. Although the planning for the early learning center is in its infancy stage, we value the input of our parents from the conceptual stage of planning through the final stages. Our district has spent a significant amount of time dialoguing and planning for how to address our growing student population. Recognizing our continued focus on early learning programs and building partnerships with families and local community organizations, the development of a kindergarten early learning center that is solely focused on addressing the unique needs of our youngest learners will greatly benefit our children and the overall community. Our parent task force will help us construct a model for active parental involvement in the early learning center, creating a framework that values and appreciates family connections at this critical point in a child’s life. As our district moves forward in the planning of the early learning center, I will continue to provide updates on our website and in my blog.
Employee of the Month
Our Employee of the Month, Dyan Branstetter, is a third-grade teacher at Brecht Elementary School. She was nominated by her colleagues for “sharing her passion for the arts with the Brecht community.” Every spring, Mrs. Branstetter organizes a school community arts night, and find various Artists in Residence to visit Brecht. These special opportunities provide enriching experiences for our students. For years, Mrs. Branstetter has coordinated a performance of the Nutcracker where third grade students integrated music and dance with research, reading, and writing. She is always willing to share technology and arts integration tips at her staff development meetings and individually with her colleagues. Her colleagues share that “Mrs. Branstetter does whatever it takes to challenge her students to make learning relevant, meaningful and fun.” They further note, “Mrs. Branstetter is a wonderful colleague and teacher; we appreciate and would like to recognize her expertise, dedication and work.” I also want to express my appreciation for Mrs. Branstetter who always has a smile on her face, and a consistent heart of giving.