I have to start my December note to remind us all at this time of the year, how truly blessed we are to live in this great country, the state of Nebraska, Sheridan County, and the Hay Springs community. We are blessed to have such a caring community and school where our staff has great care and concern for our students and for each other. I would like to take a moment at Thanksgiving to let our staff know how grateful I am to work with such dedicated and caring individuals. There have been several changes over the past three years, and the entire staff of Hay Springs School have continued to support each other and work towards providing the highest quality of education for our students. I am also very grateful for the Board of Education who has supported the addition of administrative staff that allow us to better support our teachers and students. This addition has also allowed me the time to begin an Agricultural Science program and an FFA chapter. The parents and patrons of our district are also a reason to be thankful. Small rural communities are the best place in America to raise a family and provide the opportunities for our youth to learn how to work, develop relationships and develop their God-given talents. The support of the Hay Springs community and staff of Hay Springs make me extremely proud to be your superintendent. As I list the things I am extremely thankful for I certainly have to include our students. We are extremely blessed with students who work hard, are involved in school activities, respect our teachers and care about each other. I also need to mention the blessing of family and friends. The family and friends support of my family during the death of my mother in February was greatly appreciated. I am so blessed with the support of my wife and family both with my work in Hay Springs and keeping things under control in Boyd County. All of these things would make you believe that life is perfect. As I reflect on our many blessings, I am also aware and mindful of the many challenges of our country, and community and pray that God will continue to guide the leaders of our country, state, county and community and myself and our school leadership team as we continue to move forward in the pursuit of excellence. I hope as we enter the holiday season that each of you will take time to relax and enjoy those that are most important in your life and reflect of the many blessings we have.
As we concluded successful athletic seasons again this year I am grateful for the time, effort and dedication of our student athletes and coaches. Success is not always measured by championships or perfect seasons but more importantly by the personal growth and team improvement that takes place during the season. Regardless of the win/loss records our teams have, on several occasions this fall, made us extremely proud to be fans of the Hawks.
As important as inter and extracurricular activities are for the development of our youth the number one reason we are here is for the academic growth of our students. In an effort to enhance academic performance and our school improvement process I had the opportunity to attend the Nebraska Association of School Boards and the Nebraska Association of School Administrators Joint Annual State Educational Conference in Omaha this past week. Sessions I attend included: superintendent evaluation and goal setting with school improvement in mind, Social media concerns in education, new transportation regulations, quality board retreats and strategic planning, as well as several very motivational keynote speakers. This conference provides tremendous opportunities to share knowledge with other board members and administrators and learn from some excellent presentations.
As I look at the calendar we have only three weeks until the end of the quarter and the end of the first semester. I know it doesn’t seem possible that we are that close to the end of the semester. As the semester ends I want to remind parents and students that the student’s semester grades will be a part of your student’s academic transcript. For students with high GPAs these grades will be part of your Senior GPA scholarship, financial aid, senior awards and class rank. For struggling students these semester grades will determine if you will need to be taking some classes over in the future. When students fail a course that is required for graduation for the semester, it not only complicates their future scheduling of classes but in most cases it requires extra time in school to meet the requirements for graduation. Please visit with your students about the value in finishing the semester strong. Encourage them to utilize the additional support we make available through Friday school and to request additional assistance from staff members to accomplish that end. Parent and guardian support for your child’s academic success is one of the most important ingredients you can provide to assist your child’s academics success. If students fail to attend Friday School, they will be expected to make arrangement to make up a minimum of equal time and possibly additional time if deemed necessary for their success.
As the seasons change we are in full swing this week with basketball and wrestling competition beginning this weekend. Our One-Act play performers displayed their talents and abilities twice locally this week and are competing at district one-act competition on Wednesday December 4th. I would like to thank them for their time and effort and wish them luck as they compete for the opportunity to compete at state.
Also as the seasons change we need to be more aware of the weather conditions and school cancelations, late start and early outs. I will always make school cancellations decisions based on my assessment of safety and conditions for getting your children to and from school safely. If at any time you are not comfortable sending your children out on the road based on weather and road conditions in your area, please know that you always have that option. If you decide not to send your children to school when we are holding school, please call the school and let us know that they are not coming or that you will be sending them later in the day. If the decision is made to cancel school notice will be given on Hawk Alert – “Remind”, posted on the school website (www.hshawks.com), and the Hay Springs Facebook page as well as area radio stations. If you have not already signed up for the “Remind” please contact the school office to get signed up to be sure you get the notices.
School improvement is and must be a continuous process in which you really never arrive, because as we strive to improve educational learning opportunities for our students we continually look for areas in our educational process where we can improve. It is with this in mind that I will again remind all of you of the mission, and vision of Hay Springs Public School.
The Mission of Hay Springs Schools in cooperation with families and community, is to empower students within an emotionally supportive and physically safe environment with the academic, social, physical and technological skills to achieve success as responsible, self-disciplined citizens of a global society.
“Empower Students to Achieve Lifelong Success.”
Providing a quality education is truly a cooperative effort and the cooperation of staff, students, parents, Board of Education, patrons and the community is alive and well in Hay Springs. Through continued cooperative efforts within our educational system we will continue to provide high quality education and learning opportunities for our Hay Springs students.
Thanks to all, for your continued support, and I want to wish each of you a blessed holiday season.