This time of the year always brings thoughts of family and friends and also draws focus to the parts of our life that bring special meaning to our day to day activities.
I have the pleasure to be in our schools regularly. I feel blessed to be able to walk throughout the schools and offices of our district and see the inner workings that make Tahlequah Public Schools the educational home for 3600 students.
I appreciate the office staff that greet our visitors to the buildings and check out students who may need to leave early from school. I appreciate the teachers and assistants who work to make sure student lessons are prepared and sometimes individualized to meet unique learning needs. I notice the trainings they attend that provide additional teaching strategies and supports to their instruction. I think of our custodians and maintenance personnel who keep our buildings clean and in good working order.
I am thankful for our transportation staff who come to work every morning to prepare our buses and then gather our children and bring them safely to school each day. I think of our athletic coaches who I see on the fields and in the gyms working with our students to help them learn fundamental skills and practice for sporting events.
When I am in the schools in the morning, I can smell the aroma of baked goods that comes from the cafeteria and I know that our students will be receiving a nutritious hot meal to power their day. When I go to the school sites I often see the SRO vehicles at our schools and feel comforted to know there are trained professionals in our building to help keep our children safe. I then see our counselors, social workers and nurses who are there to keep our children’s health needs maintained.
I appreciate our administrators who guide and support these teams. After school I see the over 1000 students who participate in our afterschool programs that help to provide additional tutoring and instruction for our students and provide parents with a safe environment for their children while they are still at work.
I have to admit, the best part of my job is when I see our children, happy and learning; using technology or learning in groups and helping each other. I see the pride and joy on their faces when I attend morning assemblies, concerts or games. While I know we are not perfect, I do see quality individuals who are diligently working to make a positive impact on the life of a child. I cannot close without mentioning three other groups of people who support the efforts of our school district; our Board Members, the Tahlequah community, and the parents who daily entrust our schools with their most precious gift.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Tahlequah Public Schools and Happy Holidays to all!