Happy Holidays

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As the weather gets colder outside, it’s wonderful to see so much warmth being shown within our buildings - people taking the time to show appreciation, giving generously to others who may be in need, coming together as a community to celebrate the season, and looking forward to time with family and friends.

I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all of you for all that you do to support our students and our community. I also want to share with you just a few of the many insights I took away from the Quest Conference last month. While the focus was on our schools and workplaces, much of what was shared can also benefit our personal well-being as well.

Take care of yourself, so you can take care of others. There are simple actions that we can practice and model that will help us become happier and healthier. When we are well, we are better able to support the young people in our classrooms and lives. Keynote speaker Neil Pasricha recommended activities such as taking a brisk walk outside, reading 20 minutes of fiction or journalling that can make a real difference. I plan to spend time with my children and read a book or two.

Make connecting a priority. We are wired for connection, and that can start as simply as greeting our students, colleagues, friends and family with a smile. Dr. Jean Clinton reminded us that we are not mental health professionals, but we can help students and those around us feel safe, significant and situated, valued and valuable, loved and lovable. How are we building those positive connections in our classrooms, workplaces and our personal lives?

Practice gratitude. We heard repeatedly about the benefits of practicing mindfulness and gratitude. Jennifer Moss encouraged us to think about and ask, “What made you smile today?”  

We have good reason to feel grateful every day. There is no greater reminder of that than our students. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work alongside our talented, committed and passionate staff, as well as our students, families and community partners to create environments that enable our students to flourish.

We have certainly achieved a lot over the past year. As we look back, I am happy to share some of the past year’s highlights with you. I am so proud of the leadership, talents and efforts of our students; the commitment and professionalism of our staff members, and the engagement and support shown by our families and community.

Holiday Season

I am also proud to see so many great examples of our school communities considering the well-being of others. Thank you to everyone who supported and donated to a variety of causes over the past few weeks to help make this season a little brighter for others.

I wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season and an enjoyable winter break. Thank you for all that you do each and every day. I hope that you find time to relax, connect with family and friends and do the things that make you happy.

We look forward to welcoming you back in 2019.

Louise Sirisko

Director of Education