Growing through ‘pivot points’

This, my friends, has been a year! And, to think that school ends this week with graduations soon to follow, I have to look back and reflect on the amazing work of so many of our dedicated employees who made it happen. While the fear and uncertainty of a puzzling and deadly virus emotionally affected all of us, the wellbeing of our students and families held us together. I am incredibly proud of our work and take great comfort in knowing that our students had in-person instruction from the first day of school. That was not the case for more than two million children across the country.

I am a huge believer in our lives being defined or modified by our experiences. I often refer to them as pivot points – monumental events that cause us to adjust our preferred routines, take us out of our comfort zones and rely on our belief systems in order to successfully navigate the challenges. In fact, during my career these pivot points have led to my own personal growth and has given me the opportunity to see the very best in people, and sometimes a little less than that. In the end, however, we can all look back and give a sigh of relief realizing that a large part of our legacy is how we kept true to our mission under difficult circumstances.

The vaccine news in Lancaster County is outstanding and we anticipate having many of or students fully vaccinated by the time school starts again in August. Barring unforeseen developments, we anticipate a fairly normal school year. As we head into June, we will have a 2021-22 Pandemic Plan ready to present that will not be the 600-page monster we created last summer when we really didn’t know very much about COVID-19. It will cover items such as face coverings, quarantining and personal responsibilities to maintain safety.

I close by thanking the citizens of our great city for the incredible support you have offered this year. I want you to know that, despite how things may have been evolving we always knew that our community had our backs. Education is such a high priority in Lincoln and we knew we little choice but to step forward and teach our children.

Steve Joel