This winter has been one of the roughest in all my experience as a school district superintendent. While snow days calls are always fun – and challenging – the additional water issues we experienced were extraordinary, and definitely not something we could have foreseen.
In fact, these are just the kind of “pivot points” I reference whenever I give leadership talks to prospective and established leaders. These moments are often events or experiences that are not predictable, usually out of the norm. But they define us as individuals, parents, workers, community members and leaders. These pivot points typically call for us to step up to meet and overcome challenges – responding with courage, kindness and resilience. As time goes on, whenever we reflect back upon our lives, we realize these were the events that defined us and formed the basis of our legacies as impactful, caring leaders.
I believe the way Lincoln Public Schools and the city of Lincoln responded to the devastation faced by our fellow Nebraskans was a pivot point for many in our schools and community. The compassion and understanding were overwhelming, from having to cut back 50 percent on our water usage – to creating care baskets for students in other districts – to raising donations and goods for flood victims. I am so proud of our students and staff for what they did personally to conserve water, what they learned in life lessons and what they did for others to help them through the catastrophe.
I see this as a pivot point because my guess (and hope) is that we are now more mindful of our cherished natural resources – resources that can be dramatically reduced in a short period of time. Perhaps today, compared to a mere several weeks ago, we are well served to make conservation a part of our everyday life. We each must do our part.
Thank you for all your support of our schools.