Today I visited Huntington Elementary School and spent time with an energized staff, as well as energized Huntington Principal Rik Devney. This school has worked hard on helping students learn, grow and become better people – with themes that include meeting and greeting adults, courteous protocol, and dressing for success.
As we walked the hallway, a young man (Jaden) approached to introduce himself to me and two members of the Lincoln Board of Education, Connie Duncan and Kathy Danek. He demonstrated a maturity beyond his third grade years, called me the “president “of the schools and mentioned that he and I had common birthdays. He said he expects to be successful someday, but knows he will have to work hard to get there. Then Jaden turned to his principal to discuss something related to recess. I am pretty sure this student will make it.
I make these school visits throughout the school year, and throughout Lincoln Public Schools, and I am increasingly amazed at the number of young staff members we have. This is not surprising in light of the 440 new teachers hired last year – and the more than 2,000 over the last five years. In fact, we have a great many teachers who are working hard to become proficient at their occupation, especially when you consider it takes three years to become proficient as a teacher and five years to master the trade. Yes, talented teachers have retired from LPS over the last years, but fortunately they are being replaced by teachers with awesome potential. It will take time, however, for them to have experience under their belts.
Meanwhile, I am definitely not ready to consider snow days. It is my sincere hope that the three to five inches of snow experienced on Oct. 14th – is not a portend for this winter. I only had one e-mail from a “concerned” student who apparently had forgotten that Monday was fall break. He was grateful there was no school on Monday and Tuesday, regardless of the reason.