Much to be Thankful for…

As I write this article, just before Thanksgiving, I found an opportunity to reflect on a few of the many things I am thankful for. Perhaps it was turning a year older a few days ago, or it was the time I spent sitting in the woods in beautiful weather over the opening weekend of deer hunting, but I am feeling a little more reflective this time of year.

As I stated in a previous article, I believe that our own disposition is the driver in how we see the world. If we are looking for things to be thankful for, we will see that we are surrounded by them each and every day. Our mindset dictates what we see. I thought I would share just a few of the many things I have been thankful for over the past couple weeks.

Brandon Veterans Day Program–Each year, Mr. Jim Otto organizes the best Veterans Day Program in the state. I have the pleasure of participating in the program and watching as our high school band, middle school chorus, and elementary music students perform with pride. Mrs. Alsum’s second grade students always present something special during the program. This year’s presentation regarding the MIA/POW Table was second to none. I am thankful to work with such talented people.

R-BEL–Our Rosendale-Brandon Early Learners Program has been around since before my time in the District. It’s a chance for our three year old children and parents to meet new friends and experience new opportunities together. The program is led by 4K teachers, Amanda Kinyon and Blair Moon, along with help from a variety of elementary staff. Attendance for this year’s program is at a highpoint. I am thankful for the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our young families.

Building Project–It may not seem like it from the outside, but there is a lot of work being done in the planning stages of the capital referendum project. Designs and plans are getting finalized. Our core planning team continues to meet biweekly with other meetings occurring quite often. Throughout the planning process I can’t help but be excited for our students and community. Our new learning spaces will be something we can all be proud of. I am thankful for the community’s investment in the future of our district.

CTE Opportunities–Career and Technical Education (Agriculture, Business, Tech Ed) opportunities abound! A quick review of our recent posts on our Facebook page gives a glimpse of some of these experiences. Students have opportunities to attend leadership conferences, hear from local business leaders, participate in product pitches, tour training facilities, and explore career opportunities through youth apprenticeship. I am thankful for these experiences for our students and for those professionals who provide these opportunities.

Coaches–Coaching is not a job for the faint of heart. It’s stressful and demanding. As a society, we are great at pointing out how things should have been done after the fact while sitting far removed from where the decisions need to be made. Our coaches navigate strategy, adolescent relationships, frustrated fans and parents and somehow still enjoy themselves. I am thankful for those willing to commit time and energy to coach our youth and provide our community with entertainment and another reason to be proud.

Students wishing me a happy birthday–Recently, my birthday was announced during the morning announcements at Rosendale Primary. It was a wonderful day of staff and students wishing me a happy birthday. The culminating event was when I was invited to come to Mrs. Vande Berg’s first grade music class. There I was treated to a special birthday song and dance routine. Let me tell you, if you’ve never been serenaded by 20+ dancing first graders, you don’t know what you are missing! It was definitely the highlight of my day and an experience I will never forget! I am thankful for the energy and enthusiasm of those first graders and for Mrs. Vande Berg, who has the ability to bring out the best in our young performers.

Time spent with family and friends–I write this article a few days before Thanksgiving. I spent an awesome weekend hunting with my two sons and some excellent friends. I look forward to Thanksgiving and spending time with more family and friends. I guess with age comes an appreciation of the moment. It doesn’t matter the event, but time spent with people who bring out the best in me and appreciate me for who I am is priceless. I am thankful for my family and the friends who love and support me.

Spartan Sentinel Editor–I could go on and on with things I am thankful for, but this handful of items gives you an idea of how I feel. Also, the deadline for my article submission is looming. Procrastination is not something I am thankful for. What I am thankful for is Kim Scheunemann, the editor of this paper. She took over editing the paper this summer and has done a great job putting together a great product each month. I am thankful for Kim’s extremely positive demeanor, the work she does editing our paper, and the patience she shows when I miss the submission deadline.

I hope you, too, have many things to be thankful for, today and every day.