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Take Time to be Grateful & Even More Hopeful

November 22, 2016

Earlier today, I had the chance to share my thoughts on the coming Thanksgiving holiday with the Saline Area Schools staff.  Below is the message I shared…

SAS Staff,

This Thursday marks Thanksgiving and means Americans gather around the dinner table to celebrate and be thankful.  It is simply an American holiday, where people across our nation gather with friends and family for festive food, fun and for some, football.

For many of us, it is a holiday ripe with tradition, starting with watching the parades in the morning, running in a Turkey Trot, or gathering our lists to start shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Giving Tuesday.

It is also a holiday full of reflection, and constant reminders as to why we are thankful. We are thankful for our family and friends, for our health and for our good fortune.

While I am personally thankful for the opportunity to serve as the Superintendent of the Saline Area Schools, I am truly grateful to represent 5,235 students along with hundreds of teachers, administrators, para-educators and support staff. Working with you every day reminds me about what makes our country great – it is that we are all dedicated to the pursuit of excellence by ensuring our children receive a quality education, reinforced by a great team and strong community around them.

I am also thankful for the parents of our students and to our entire community. Our district serves four extremely diverse communities.  Each community has it own unique style, yet it is the Saline Area Schools that binds our communities together.

While I may be Superintendent of the district, I am also a member of this community. This is where I live, eat, shop and play.  While I don’t expect to get invited to your Thanksgiving table this week, I do expect that as neighbors and friends, we will look after each other.  That we will take time to get to know our neighbors, become more interested in the people around us and find ways to get engaged in the community.

  • Now, more than ever, we need you to be present in your children’s lives. Ask them questions about what they are learning in school, who they are hanging out with, what they are watching or doing on their phones or computers. In this fast-paced world, it is essential for them to know that you are watching them and care about what they are doing.
  • Now, more than ever, our children need role models. I hope you will become mentors and invite students onto your farm, into your factory, store or office.
  • Now, more than ever, we need to stand up and speak out for one another, teach tolerance and acceptance. To learn about one another and respect each other for our own beliefs and traditions.
  • Now, more than ever, we need to be a constant presence in our community. Think about volunteering in our schools, speak before a class, coach a team or give up a weekend or evening to support a local non-profit.
  • Now, more than ever, our children need to feel safe. They need your support as parents, they need your care as a community and they need to know that they have people on their side.

With the last of the leaves changing, Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of the holiday season. For this nation and for our community, the holidays could not have come at a better time.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you will join me in thinking about what you are thankful for. As we beginning the season of giving, I am hopeful that we as a community will continue to thrive.

The season of giving is upon us and we have a lot to celebrate together.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! & Go Hornets!



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