APRIL… good weather is just around the corner–actually April is starting off with some well needed sunshine. SUNSHINE please come and stick around. We are all looking forward to more sunny days for sure. The theme of sunshine is interwoven throughout this blog.
We have begun the last quarter of the school year. Report cards will be distributed on April 2 throughout the district. PSSA (Pennsylvania State School Assessments) for Reading-Language Arts and Math are complete. Science is scheduled for later this month. The KEYSTONES will be given in May. The content that is tested is the knowledge that all children should know when they graduate so they are career and college ready.
BUDGET-The district is working at continuing to prudently present a fiscally sound and balanced budget. The April Board Workshop and meeting will cover the district’s revenues and expenditures. The efforts of the school board to hold the line on taxes and keep all programming at a high level for our students and community is no easy task. The public needs to continue voicing their concerns over the cyber school costs to the taxpayers. Currently it is costing our district over one mill.
There have been so many things happening in the district, new topics in the classroom, preparation for the annual field trips, seniors gearing up for their future plans…college, military or work, Spring sports have begun, musicals at the elementary level and of course the district production of “Annie.” I chuckled and jokingly said they selected that one in my honor because I am retiring at the end of this school year. That is what I was called growing up, “Annie.” I feel a lot like the character in Annie…not that I was an orphan but because my life had a dramatic change like the little orphan. My life change came due to a great public education enabled by the outstanding teachers and supportive parents who helped me to obtain a solid education up to graduation from high school and then a post secondary college education. Getting a college degree was truly a life-changing event for me and allowed me to end up in my current seat as the district superintendent. I taught a few years and then I was a stay at home mom for 16 years before returning to my career.
An education can change a person’s life and it is my hope that all parents will support their children in their pursuit for a solid education. It isn’t easy, but working together with the school to be sure your child(ren) progresses throughout the grade levels with the highest level of success is paramount. Pulling in the same direction is what we all need to do. Sometimes it might be pushing in the same direction! As this is the last quarter of this school year it is a good time to emphasize that attendance and hard work are two keys to reaching this success. We all love our children and parenting is one of the hardest jobs there is…teaching could justifiably be the second hardest. Let’s agree to work together.
Children are their parents’ “sunshine.” Student success and growth are a teachers’ sunshine.
I always sang and still sing, “You are My Sunshine” to my children and grandchildren.
As we are all hoping for Mother Nature’s sunshine to get here I am posting a story that was sent to me by my wonderful sister in-law who just spent a long year struggling to recover from breast cancer. I received the letter yesterday when I was in need of some sunshine in any form. It reminded me of how powerful relationships are. Thank you Marie!
A bright attitude, believing in a good ending, helping each other and keeping a song in your heart can work wonders. The story she sent reminded me that sunshine comes in many forms.
Our district strives to provide the above things everyday in our classrooms. While parents are dealing with 1-2-3 and sometimes more children, our teachers deal with many, many more children throughout the day. If we all agree to work collaboratively toward the same goals (our mission statement for the district) then certainly the sunshine will be brilliant.
This is the story she sent me. It is a very heart warming one. Here it is:
Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They found out that the new baby was going be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his s sister in Mommy’s tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met her.
The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the the Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. In time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three, every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labor. Would a C-section be required?
Finally, after a long struggle, Michael’s little sister was born. But she was in very serious condition. With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatrician had to tell the parents there is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst. Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby they found themselves having to plan for a funeral. Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. I want to sing to her, he kept saying. Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over. Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. Karen decided to take Michael whether they liked it or not. If he didn’t see his sister right then, he may never see her alive. She dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket. The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, ” Get that kid out of here now. No children are allowed.” The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse’s face, her lips a firm line. He is not leaving until he sings to his sister” she stated. Then Karen towed Michael to his sister’s bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began singing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray.” Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady. “Keep on singing, Michael,” encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes. “You never know, dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away. “As Michael sang to his sister, the baby’s ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten’s purr. “Keep on singing, sweetheart.”
“The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms”. Michael’s little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. “Keep singing, Michael.” Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed. “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don’t take my sunshine away…”
The next, day…the very next day…the little girl was well enough to go home. Woman’s Day Magazine called it The Miracle of a Brother’s Song. The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of love.
by Karin Simmons Knapp
This story reminded me of the classroom. Building those relationships between parent-student-teacher can be life changing. Persistence, believing in each other and true love and respect can help us all to bring on the sunshine. If you set your sights high for your children and students, help them to find ways and strategies to reach those goals, when you look into the future they will be basking in the sunshine.
NEVER GIVE UP ON THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE and/or TEACH. LOVE IS SO INCREDIBLY POWERFUL. Life is good.
Have Wonderful Day!
Your Superintendent—Ann Kearney
Keep a song in your heart and music in public education.
“YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE!”