Posted: October 4, 2016

After a few months being superintendent, I’ve noticed a couple of things.  First is responsibility.  It’s such an honor, but you kind of feel the weight of it all – 7,000 students – wow!   The second is this really cool sense of pride.  It’s a different kind of pride, because it doesn’t have anything directly to do with me.  It’s more of a daily celebration of others as you watch the story of people making a difference unfold in front of you. It’s the care someone takes to remove leaves or ensure our students and resources move around our district in timely and safe ways.  It’s the quality of the learning experiences teachers and para-educators create for students every day.  It’s the way you hear staff and students talk about learning and growth.  These moments are so inspiring and bring such HOPE & JOY.

I want to share one of those moments with you.  At the Camas High open house event, Principal Marshall addressed a gym full of parents about the goal of meeting the needs of each student. He called out all of the teaching staff to the gym floor to be recognized for their collective effort of knowing each student.

So I was proud right away to see the staff move out to the floor because I know all of the work that goes into making that happen.  What happened next was pretty extraordinary.  The parents in the gym were clapping as they normally would, and then they started to stand.  The clapping continued as the collective community rose to recognize our amazing staff.  I was caught up in the moment watching the parents and forgot to take out my phone and take a picture so you’ll have to visualize it in your head.  The standing ovation went on past the normal “Standing O” time, even getting to the point where you wonder when you’re supposed to sit down again.  You could feel the appreciation in that gym for the work we all do.

Across our district, we’re in the season of curriculum nights, open houses, conferences, and other events.  These events present great opportunities to engage with our community and let them know why we love to serve their children.  This was a moment where our community gave the love right back.  I was, and am, proud of our community.

Here’s to finding the HOPE & JOY in our work this week!