Good NewsPosted by Alan Boucher on 1/13/2021
One of the ways we can stay encouraged during the pandemic is to feast on good news. Here are some positive points that should raise our spirits.
Good News! The Governor announced on Monday that Region 2 (our region) will be moving back down from Tier 3 to Tier 2 on Friday, January 15. To qualify for the move, the region must experience a lower positivity rate, have an adequate number of hospital beds available and have a declining number of hospitalizations. Some of the restrictions for businesses and group gatherings will be loosened for our region.
Good News! The Governor has announced that the next phase of vaccinations can begin. That means that front line essential workers (includes school employees), those who live in congregate settings and those over 75 years old will now be able to get the vaccine.
Good News! Matherville Intermediate School principal Jeff Shillinger has been selected to be the Black Hawk Region Middle School Principal of the Year. We are proud of Mr. Shillinger and appreciate all he does to make our district the best it can be.
Good News! In time for the holidays, more than $9,000 of Operation Santa money was distributed to our school district’s families. Operation Santa has been helping our families for more than two decades.
Good News! Our district is able to continue offering both in-person and remote learning opportunities for the students during the second semester. Currently, 86% of the students are choosing the in-person option for their schooling. We hope the COVID numbers will continue to go down during the spring months so that we can start offering more opportunities to the students.
Good News! In the fall, our boys golf team won the team sectional championship. Our boys cross country team won the regional championship and placed second at sectionals. Senior Jacob Belha captured the regional and sectional titles as an individual.
We have completed the first half of the school year and have every reason to believe we will finish well. To quote A.A. Milne, “You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.”
ExperiencePosted by Alan Boucher on 12/11/2020
I recently read something that struck a chord with me. Paraphrasing, it said that everyone’s experience with this pandemic is different. Upon reflection, I have to agree. For some people, the challenge of the pandemic is finding a job, but for others it is finding childcare. Some people are fearful about contracting the virus while others refuse to acknowledge its existence. Some business owners like those who provide PPE have thrived while others who own restaurants have gone out of business.
When your pandemic experience is unlike your neighbor’s, you will have different opinions about what needs to be done. Such is the case in a school district. There are many different ideas about how the school district should operate. What’s to be done? Well, there is a core set of values we all share during these challenging times. We want our students, the staff and their families to be safe and healthy. We want the students to be properly educated and we want the students to be socially and emotionally healthy. We want all the students to form happy and meaningful memories. In short, we all want the same thing. If we work together with this understanding, I think we will be able to create an educational experience that reflects our values. Recognizing our shared values will bind us together with our neighbor and conflict will be minimized. I am grateful for the support shown inside and outside our school district. Our road is messy and the unexpected turns are frustrating, but we are able to move our educational program forward because of the help, support and encouragement of the families, staff and community. Thank you. Merry Christmas, everyone!
ThankfulnessPosted by Alan Boucher on 11/9/2020
Being thankful can be difficult right now. All of us could quickly make a long list of gripes and disappointments, but we know that wouldn’t help matters. Forcing ourselves to be thankful, however, would help matters. It will change our outlook and help us to cope with adversity. It will help us to see there are many things right in our world.
Thankfulness is a positive emotion. It is a conscious feeling of appreciation for the kindness of others, for gifts and for the things we already have. We can delight in our good experiences and the benefits we receive. We can be thankful for things we normally take for granted like sunshine, fresh air, clean water, electricity and indoor plumbing. Sanya and I can be thankful for a beautiful grandchild that was born earlier this year. I recently read a long list of things for which to be thankful and chose the following: friends, good health, freedom, pets, the ability to type, books, kindness of strangers, art, holidays, time, children, inventors, music and the United States armed forces.
It is extremely important to be thankful, but it is equally important for us to express our thankfulness. Thank you for your support, your loyalty, your hard work, your sacrifice, your teamwork and your graciousness when things don’t go well.