Posted Date: 06/01/2021
As I write this editorial, my final Pampa ISD commentary for the year 2020, I find myself focusing on how much we have learned as an organization from the challenges and opportunities over the past 12 months. There is power in recognizing the gravity of trials and tribulations; however, I strongly believe that there is inspiration in choosing to acknowledge the SILVER LININGS from all of the storms and dark clouds that we get to experience.
During the first few months of 2020, before covid became a common household word, the Pampa ISD was gearing up to embark on a Strategic Visioning and Planning process that was to begin immediately following Spring Break and was to culminate in an articulated vision for our schools in Pampa for the next 5 years. As the Superintendent of Pampa Schools, I was excited to work alongside our Board, Staff, Students, and numerous Stakeholders in our community to design the work and goals for the future of Pampa ISD. But then, Covid-19 hit and our plans were derailed---along with the entire world!
Our community supported us through this covid journey as we listened, researched, learned, planned, re-planned, and practiced being flexible, adaptable, resilient, innovative, and compassionate. Our Profile of a Graduate illustrates the traits we desire in our students AND in each other. These traits include being a communicator, collaborator, creative and critical thinker, contributing citizen, solution seeker, and ethical decision maker. Through our challenges with covid, we were given the opportunity to practice these skills and improve our capacity to BE what we are trying to TEACH to our children. To me, this is a SILVER LINING!
I was disappointed that we could not engage in the strategic visioning and planning work that we had planned, but as I reflect, I now realize that we needed to learn more about ourselves and each other first. We are back on track and will begin the visioning and planning work once again in January 2021. But we are different people than we were 9 months ago. We are a different organization than we were 9 months ago. And, we are a different community than we were 9 months ago. We are now stronger than we even thought we were, closer than we ever were, and more resolved to continue to make Pampa ISD and the Pampa Community better than we even imagined. The things we have accomplished together are incredible! Our knowledge and skills have grown exponentially in the areas of technology, innovative teaching, lesson design and delivery, and most of all—we are more savvy than ever about how to truly value each and every moment we have and every single relationship we share. To me, this is a SILVER LINING!
As we close the book on 2020, yes, I am saddened by the loss we have experienced. Yes, I am frustrated with the restrictions that will likely follow us into 2021—at least for a while. HOWEVER, I am mostly feeling thankful for the growth we have experienced, the relationships we have forged, and the path we are facing with a future full of hope and possibilities. The clouds of 2020 brought us a dark storm than none of us will ever forget. But, the SILVER LININGS on the Clouds of 2020 have been such blessings that we will carry with us forever! For that, I am thankful and inspired to move into 2021 with new purpose and pride in our work!
From the Pampa ISD Family to yours, we wish each student and family in Pampa a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Dr. Tanya Larkin
Published on 12/16/2020