Message from the Superintendent - November 22, 2017

Tim's pictureA very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

In the past few days there have been a few experiences that have helped add perspective to the coming holiday for me. Thank you for taking a moment to let me share them. 

This week I was deeply thankful and amazed, as always, to see an entire bus (thank you, transportation) packed full to the roof with holiday food donations from Aylen Junior High. The bus drove in the lane next to me as it delivered food to hundreds of families for the Thanksgiving holiday. The example this project sets for our students and the accomplishment of serving the community in such a way is something our students will remember their entire lives.

I was also thankful to see an entire lobby of food donations and holiday baskets at Ballou JH and several other schools. Gathered with a spirit of kindness and generosity, this effort exemplifies the caring work done in our schools every day.

Yesterday I had good fortune to visit a kindergarten class at Mt. View Elementary to deliver a class prize of Happy Donuts in celebration of the holiday. The faces were so bright, the questions were enthusiastic and heartfelt, and the smiles reminded me of how important each day is in the learning and growth of our children. The teacher, Ms. Froli, was so skilled and thoughtful in her work with our kids that I left knowing the foundation for a great life is being crafted each day our kids spend in her class. I am thankful there are hundreds of PSD classrooms like hers.

Last evening I joined hundreds of community members in listening to an outstanding concert at RHS. It reminded me that our students excel in the arts, academics, in CTE, and athletics because of the support of our community and the hard work of our team. As I walked through the school to my car I saw a lively girls basketball practice, students completing leadership projects, custodians serving students, the lights on and a community group practicing soccer on RHS field in the pouring rain, and I spoke with a parent who took time to thank the district for the newly purchased instruments that were played during the concert. In a matter of a few minutes I was again reminded of how thankful I am that we provide a place for the community to come together and build a sense of connection.

 On Monday morning a panel of students shared with their teachers, school, and district leaders their experiences of speaking a language other than English and coming to our schools with a culture different than that which they experience now every day. I was so thankful for the empathy, kindness, and genuine caring of the staff who listened intently. They heard about the positives and challenges ELL kids face each day. I was so proud to see the responses our staff made right away upon hearing of their challenges. I was nearly brought to tears upon hearing how a family who had waited nine years to join their father in the U.S. would be spending their first Thanksgiving in our community together.

This past Monday evening we celebrated nine years of service from retiring board member Pat Donavan. I was reminded how thankful I am to work with a school board, instructional staff, support team, leadership team and a community who all genuinely care about helping each child grow and find success.

 We live and work in a wonderful place. We work together in a way that is changing lives and creating future opportunities for each child in the community. Daily our schools are at the center of community activities, the hub for acts of kindness and generosity, the focus for community pride and the accomplishments of students, and a place where our kids are safe, nurtured, and prepared for a bright future. I am very thankful this week to have seen all of those things taking place in our schools.

Thank you for your work, your professionalism, your kindness and caring this Thanksgiving. I hope you will enjoy the next few days with your family and friends knowing what you do each day makes a very real difference to our kids, families, and our community.

Tim

Dr. Timothy S. Yeomans, Superintendent
Puyallup School District