Saturday, November 22, 2008

Week 15: December 1-5, 2008

“And what to my wondering eyes do appear...”

In the midst of a crazy economy, it was obvious last Wednesday during our building professional development that the joy of the season abounds at Benton High School. The joy and merriment of our staff was contagious. In this review of the week, I want to share with you what my wondering eyes noticed…

Ornaments that Decorate our Hearts
Our staff embraced helping our most at-risk children by committing to two months of special attention to those who really need it the most. The reasons are not complex; most kids need an extra bit of attention from an adult who is instrumental in his or her life. Our staff just made a promise to be that person to one specific child and work harder at our other children. I wish you could have seen the enthusiasm and excitement that was overwhelmingly pervasive in the room at that moment. It was a wonderment…

National Ornaments
Friday afternoon, Kerry Shepherd brought me a copy of an article from US News & World Reports that stated Benton was on the list of America’s Best High Schools for 2009! I was a little hesitant when she showed it to me, honestly. I wondered if they meant “our” Benton High School or if they had us mixed up with someone else (been there before with another local high school). Nope, it was definitely our data. It was us! We had made a national list that said what we were doing was worth noting. Yahoo!

On Monday, the official letter from the editor of US News & World Reports landed on my desk. THAT was truly official! Within one day, the local media was all over the story. How wonderful it was to share with our community that our staff was committed to working with the students in our school who are the least advantaged. Our websites will proudly display our badge of honor. The ornament is ours to hang. Wear it proudly…we know what ornaments it really represents. The wonders never cease to amaze…
The Ornaments Among Us
We have so many treasures we hang on our educational tree. Each one represents a special moment, award or student. Each one is precious. As your department embraces the decorating contest that will soon transform our halls, I want you each to remember that your light shines brightly at Benton. Our tide is turning. Your hard work is paying off. The children have noticed the change in you. The light that you offer into their lives as their teacher in not just ornamental; it’s foundational. Like a string of lights on a Christmas tree, you are the underlying ornament that makes all the others shine brightly. Sometimes we blink, sometimes we need a new bulb, but we are always the light. Lights transform. Lights are my favorite. It’s the wonderment of Christmas that makes my heart soar…

Upcoming Events:
3 Dec -- Leadership Team Meeting; 7:30 a.m. Room 103
3 Dec -- Early Out; 12:40 dismissal
3 Dec -- Building Professional Development, Room A115/A116 (Apple Dumpling Day!)
4 Dec -- Rotary Meeting in Library; library closed during 7th hour
4 Dec - FAST (Faculty Addressing Stressful Times) Event: 3:00 p.m.
Candle Exchange hosted by Tracy Johnson in conference room
5 Dec -- Staff Lunch from FACS; Room 103 (odd day)

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