In the day before break, I took the opportunity to spend some time in the buildings simply visiting with staff and students. My hidden driver was the desire to check out all of the ugly sweaters (and other festive attire). I got the added gift of a 7th grade Language Arts class performing a dance for me. I’m very glad I thought twice about volunteering to have them teach it to me.
It was delightful, made me smile and made me remember why I’ve chosen to do what I do. West Burlington is a great place for kids and we have such committed staff supporting them on their journey of growing up.
I’ve spent most of the last week in meetings and at training in Des Moines. The topics have often been deep and heavy. They make your mind hurt. The last wrapped up two days of learning around school finance and included a luncheon presentation by this year’s SAI Superintendent of the Year, Joel Pederson, from Cardinal.
He opened his presentation with “I’m not going to talk to you about what I had planned, because of something that happened several weeks ago. We’re not talking about finance, the legislation, or my wisdoms.”
He continued to tell the story that several weeks ago he had received a call from the family of a student he had when he was a junior high principal in another district and he had not seen or heard from the former student for years. The family member called to ask him to speak at the former student’s funeral as the 24 year-old had taken his life. There was a sense of somberness that overcame the room.Read more