Wednesday, March 6, 2019

GKHS and Rachel's Challenge

Our PBIS kickoff day included wonderful presentations from Cody with Rachel's Challenge.  As the story of Rachel Scott unfolds, we all learn of possibilities that CAN be.  Of accepting her challenge and moving forward to touch others and improve the world around us.  Scores of students received additional training to serve as ambassadors for the program and help lead our school.  All this made for a truly impactful day at GKHS.

Additional information can be found on the Rachel's Challenge page.  Rachel's Challenge Link

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Start With Hello Week

We are so proud of our GKHS students and their participation in Start with Hello Week.  Letting all our students know that they are not alone.  Letting all students know that someone is there for them.  To help.  To listen.  To say hello.  And to wrap it all up, a wonderful scene at our assembly.  Oh my- please see link to Twitter below:.
Start With Hello Week - The GKHS Message

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Office, Same Great Kids

Welcome Genoa - Kingston High School Families.  I am proud to have been part of G-K schools for the past 17 years and look forward to working with high school students, families, and staff.

Anyone who has spoken with me knows I care about our students' positive educational experience, social-emotional, and academic success.  I look forward to working with your students and playing a part in helping them excel and contribute to our community.

So many strides have been made over their school careers, and I am excited to help then accomplish more.  It has always been a privilege to be part of the G-K Schools community.  Go COGs and have a great summer.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Summer is upon us? Not yet!!!

No Time for counting down.  Too much left to do.

I don't usually do countdowns.  Life is too short to be wasting away today wishing  for tomorrow.  However, it is human nature to look forward to certain events, opportunities,  or times of the year.

Recently, I have begun hearing whispers on the breeze.  Perhaps a student smiling and telling me only this many days to go.  A parent casually stating x number weeks left.  A teacher commenting on how quickly the year is flying by.  My son at home making plans for a sports camp the first week off of school.  Countdown time?  No way!

We are fortunate at G-K schools to have been working diligently and continuously on mapping effective, standards base curriculum for all classes - for the entire year.  Skills taught and refined in the latter months of the school year are vital for student learning and preparation for what lies ahead this year and next. 

All that work continues into June and beyond.

When the time comes, we will wish all our families a happy and safe summer.  But, not now.  Too much important learning to do and great experiences for kids to have here at GKMS! 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

8th Grade Promotion

We know the holidays bring families together and plans for future events are made.  8th grade promotion will be held on Monday, May 21 at 7PM in the HIGH SCHOOL gym.  We look forward to all our 8th grade students having a successful remainder of the year. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Making Decisions

Oh my, it has been a while since posting here.  Our #gkcogs campaign has certainly migrated much content to twitter.  And, it has been great connecting with students, families, and everyone in the district #gkcogs!!!  Some things, however, can't be expressed in the limited character count of the twitter sphere - even though it has recently doubled in size (not a fan of that at all).

Those who have a passion for working in education know we are more fortunate than those in other fields.  Each day, we have an opportunity to impact our students.  We have an opportunity to help change lives.  Whether we work with kids in second, seventh, or eleventh grades, each day brings us an opportunity to make a significant difference in the life of a youth still trying to find their way.  If we stick around long enough, we get to see some of those kids develop, mature, and become adults.

Today, we had a guest come speak to our 8th grade Leadership and Community Service classes.  A young man who is principal of a school in a neighboring district.  A very powerful speaker talking about adversity and decisions we all must face in life to differing and individual degrees.  How he had to overcome influence of gangs and neighborhood.  Finish high school, succeed with the marines, move on to teach EL students, and now a young principal.  A powerful story of a strong young man overcoming challenges and now sharing his experiences with our GK students.  It is such an honor to have him here.

And I am personally proud of him as well.  Before coming to GK schools 17 years ago, I taught high school in Rochelle.  I knew him as a young man through several years of high school and always thought highly of his character and performance as a student.  When he graduated with his teaching degree, I tried to get him to join GK.  I only thought of him in positive ways and with respect.  That is how he has always carried himself.

What I didn't know until now is the challenge he faced in those high school years.  What he was dealing with outside my classroom those years.  How all those times I enjoyed having him in class and talking with him, he was fending off intensely persistent and negative influences.  How he was preparing for his future inside the classroom and fighting to preserve it outside the school.  I am sure I would lave listened if he wanted to tell me, but I never would have totally understood.  All his teachers were there for him each day, yet he had to encounter very real struggles on his own.  And, of course, he succeeded.

As educators, we sometimes are directly involved in helping students work through challenges.  When challenges are spoken to us and we can actively participate in working through solutions.  Those are the times when we know we have made an impact.  Most times, I imagine, we are not invited in to help solve problems or address concerns.  There are times when students simply need or decide or feel they have no choice but to fight through on their own. 

Even in those cases, we can STILL be of value to our students by creating a safe, nurturing, respectful environment.  A place where kids know they have opportunities.  A place where at least one adult can be talked to or trusted.  I can't say I was that "special" person who reached out and saved.  He saved himself.  His power and his strength.  He made that happen.  But everyone of us who got to know him and teach him in our classrooms did provide for him a safe place.  A place where he could mark a path to a future he wanted to achieve.  A place where he had an opportunity.  And he took it and made it happen.  I was proud of him then and couldn't be any more proud of him now.

I guess that is just another reason why we love working with kids.  While we are aware of our direct impact with some students, we ALL play at least a small role in creating a positive environment for ALL our students.  What else could anyone ask for in a profession?  A career?  A lifetime?