On November 29th, Principal McGregor and I had the opportunity to participate in an event hosted by the City of Garretson and the Garretson Economic Development Committee. The two hour session included about 30 community members from all different facets of life in Garretson. The common thread among all of the attendees is a desire to see the best for Garretson, in terms of economic growth and in terms of quality of life. We spent the two hours considering a variety of questions about where this group sees our strengths and opportunities for growth. Consensus among the group is that our most significant strength lies in our sense of community – and our care and concern for those who are part of it, particularly our young people. That being said, those of us who work in the school feel the support of our community and know that the school is valued. Of course, there were a number of opportunities for growth, but the group noted that the City has really done a fantastic job of being progressive with respect to infrastructure development to set the community up for success. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the discussion, build some relationships with community members that I didn’t know before the meeting and dream a little about what Garretson might look like in ten years. Thanks to the City for working with our economic development group to be progressive in moving our community forward.
After the meeting, I had the opportunity to reflect on those pieces of our school community and our larger community that, to me, make Garretson a unique and wonderful place to be. In our school, I see strength in our staff. Some of our staff grew up in Garretson and wanted to come back to make a difference in the community where they grew up. I also see a strength in those who have joined us from other areas, but share that desire to contribute to our community in ways that make a difference. We do our best to live by our motto: Growing Our Future Every Child, Every Day. I know that there is care and concern for every student who walks through our doors. Some communities would consider Garretson to be a “big school,” but I love it that we are small enough so that we can get to know our kids and families well.
For me, personally, it is important that I have the opportunity to watch our students grow throughout their school years. I get to know their stories, especially those who have experienced challenges on their path to graduation. I enjoy those small conversations with our students that may open the door to further connection. The week before thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to chat in the hallway with three second graders about which turkey on the bulletin board had the best camouflage. We really couldn’t come up with a “best,” but settled on the turkey hiding in the popcorn was pretty funny and clever, and we liked the super fancy pants turkey with the pink and purple feathers. The conversation was by far the most enjoyable part of my day. The projects themselves were pretty cool, but the conversation that the projects allow to happen are part of the weave that holds this fabric together. I am thankful for not only our school community, but also the entire Garretson community in which I choose to live. I look forward to our work in guiding each toward a bright future!