The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Welcome Back! What an amazing, warm summer we have had to enjoy. The summer is a great opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, and prepare for a great school year. The staff at Clark-Wilkins is abuzz in preparation for opening day and very excited to welcome you and your child(ren) back. As I write this letter, I am struck by how fast the summer went and how quickly I have acclimated to my new surroundings. I already feel at home at Clark-Wilkins and in Amherst. Everyone has been so warm and inviting.
Over the summer staff participated in a variety of trainings offered throughout the district. For the past two days, all staff engaged in professional development workshops to promote continued development and refinement of their practice and instruction. As a staff, we read Tom Rath’s book, Strengths Finder 2, and shared our strengths. There were powerful conversations about using our strengths to boost personal performance and to enhance the successes of students, staff, and the school community. These conversations helped staff come together in a positive way to appreciate the value of their strengths and benefits to school culture.
As a new team member of Clark-Wilkins, I would like to share a little bit about myself. I am super excited to be part of this wonderful school community. My number one strength is positivity. In his book, Tom Rath characterizes this strength by saying, “…quick with a smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. Somehow, you can’t quite escape your conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun, and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one’s sense of humor. Though you see the good in virtually every situation, you still recognize challenges, and communicate the reason for your optimism.” With this strength, a goal of mine will be to elevate and strengthen the positive culture for students and staff in order for us to be our best.
As we welcome the start of a new school year, there will be some things we will need to work out together…I just ask for a little patience and support, especially this fall. Some things may not be the same as they have been in the past and I believe that this is part of the change process. Please know that the staff and I will always fall back on decisions and structures based on what we believe are best for kids. With this philosophy, I feel we are always on the right path to enhancing a positive, and student-centered school community.
I look forward to getting to know you and your child(ren) this year. I believe that the changes will make us a stronger school community. I hope to meet many of you during the PTA Ice Cream Social on September 9th from 4:30-6:30. It’s going to be a great year!