A Tribute

Phil Jackson said it best when he stated, “The strength of the team is each individual member, and the strength of each member is the team.”  For an organization to run properly, each of it’s parts must work to their full potential.   This is true for the educational setting as well.
Often times in education, an outsider looks in and sees a teacher and group of students.  They may see the classroom that they have a connection to, or maybe a sports team.   This is just a fraction of the school.  A school has many important parts.  The working parts and how they are intertwined to make a school function often go unnoticed.
How about the custodial staff, foods service workers, bus drivers, administrative assistants, para-professionals, the board of education, etc.  Each and every one of these individuals plays an important role in the function of the school.  They are a key ingredient to the recipe of education.  An Oreo cookie wouldn’t be what it is without the white filling in the middle.  Monster cookies would be less monster like if the M&M’s were absent.  You get my point.
Creating a sound educational experience for students would not be possible without the men and women whom we often times take for granted.  Each plays a vital role in the education of our youth.  Each and every employee of a school district has the opportunity to impact children just as a teacher does.
Two days ago Griggs County lost a very special person.  She was an Administrative Assistant for our district, but was much more than that to all the people that knew her.  Frankly, she made everyone’s life better.  She came to work with a smile, and left work with the same smile.  She never complained, and taught all of us valuable life lessons. 
She worked tirelessly to ensure that she met the needs of every student, and every teacher, and all others.  I often times told her that it was O.K. to say no once in awhile. 
But you see, this was not her nature.  She cared for the sick.  She troubleshooted gradebook dilemas.  She counted box tops.  She fulfilled teacher requisitions.  I could go on and on, but most importantly she filled our hearts with joy.
All that came in contact with her will miss her.  Although she wasn’t in the classroom, she was one of the best teachers in our building.  She taught me so much, and forever I will be indebted to her.  I’m a better administrator because of her, and most importantly a better person.  Thank you for all that you contributed to not only Griggs County Central, but to the communities we represent.  You will forever be missed, but you will live on in all the individuals you have touched.
Do me a favor.  Thank the people in your schools that don’t always get the recognition.  They are working just as hard as those in the classrooms.  Appreciate the people that work endless hours behind the scenes to ensure teachers and students are given the tools and resources they need to be successful.  These people are the glue that makes everything else stick.  Phil Jackson’s quote is right on.  The strength of a school is the strength of each individual within it.  Thank you to all of the support staff at Griggs County Central.  Thank you for being the M&M’s in our Monster Cookies.

This blog is dedicated to Sandy Hanson.  A person that has had a significant impact on my life.  A person whom I will never forget and owe so much.  You will always be near the top of my most influential people list.  Thank you.  God needed an administrative assistant, and he knew we had one of the best.  His work just got a lot easier with you by his side.

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