Often at this time of year, we hear people talk about all of the wonderful things in their lives for which they are thankful. Like others, I too am truly thankful for the blessings that I have including my faith, my family, my friends, my church, my work, my district, and my community-- just to name a few. Blessings are so often taken for granted and sometimes we even categorize things, events, and even people into such compartments as “blessing” or “burden”. It is at this time of year that I am also reminded of how our perception really controls how we see our blessings and our burdens. For example, for someone working long hours to finish a deadline, the job is perceived as a burden and somewhat of a hardship. However, to others, who CHOOSE to see the blessing in this situation, know that being blessed with employment in these difficult economic times is something of which to be truly grateful. Another example may be when a young mother is trying to keep it altogether at home and sees her chores and often mundane tasks as a burden, all-the-while across town a young mother-in-waiting is anxiously anticipating a call from an adoption agency.
This same choice applies to our school district. The students that we serve often have so many blessings, but we also know that many are facing burdens as well. I was recently reminded by a colleague that the Holidays are perceived by so many to be a time of joyful gatherings and gift exchange. However, for many of our students, it is a time of loneliness, abandonment, and even hunger. Although this is a heartbreaking reality, I am thankful for the opportunity to be a small part of serving these children everyday in Pampa ISD. The challenges our educators face in meeting the needs of so many of our students is overwhelming at times. But the challenge is truly a blessing when we CHOOSE to embrace that challenge as an opportunity to truly make a difference in the life of a child. Pampa ISD is blessed to have literally hundreds of staff working daily often before and after school to be the blessing for their students.
On behalf of Pampa ISD, we hope you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving and we encourage you to CHOOSE to see the blessings everyday!
On Monday evening, more than 3000 students, parents, staff, and community members gathered at Pampa High School to #EXPLORE the LEARNING that the students in Pampa schools have engaged in this school year. The Academic Showcase is a way for us to make learning a spectator event! We have purposefully designed the evening to engage families in sharing the fun and excitement that comes when a student “showcases” their work and their learning. Our staff and students alike show their Purpose, Passion, and Pride as they share the challenges, projects, and products that are a result of learning and growing in the content areas from grades K-12 and in all subjects including math, science, reading, writing, social studies, physical education, and the performing and visual arts.
In today’s political climate, there is much criticism of our public schools and an over emphasis on giving schools ratings and labels. Pampa ISD has earned many of the accolades found in these accountability systems. But, our work is never done and we will always strive to be better. We don’t need a rating or label to challenge us to want more---we want to always be more and do more than expected. Having said that, it is clear to me that our students are so much more than a topic of political discussion. Our students are more than a grade and a label. Our students are compassionate, caring, and powerful young men and women who will lead our communities one day. They are the inspiration for our staff and the very heart of the families in Pampa. I am so proud to be in a community and school system that comes together to laugh, learn, and lead together!
I want to take this opportunity to thank the staff and administration for their hard work in challenging our students everyday. I want to thank the parent volunteers who help and the community and parental support we receive on a daily basis. As always, if you have concerns, comments, or ideas on how we can better serve our students, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.