Giving Thanks to Gifford

I know this might sound crazy but 2020 is always going to hold a special place in my heart.  Obviously, Amy and I will be forever fond of 2020 because of Clayton’s arrival. Beyond that, however, this year will always be special to be because it’s the year I was fortunate enough to join the Gifford community!  

This week I wanted to take a minute or two to stop and say “thank you!!”  As we go into a much deserved five-day weekend to reflect and give thanks, I started a little early 🙂  

So, “thank you” to each and every one of you.  This school year has, obviously, been terribly challenging and trying for each of us.  While at the same time, beyond school, we’re facing what is likely (hopefully) the craziest time of our generation(s).  Yet, despite all of that, you’ve shown over and over again that as people and as professionals you are an amazing community of educators!  

My “thank you” is personal but it is also on behalf of those who can’t, won’t, don’t know how, or are just too busy and tired to say it to you themselves.  “Thank you” from your students, who are able to continue learning from their own homes as this pandemic rages, thanks to your efforts and energy!  “Thank you” from the parents of those students, all of them (yes, all of them), who whether they’ll say it or not appreciate all that you do to help their students continue learning.  “Thank you” from your colleagues who benefit from your ideas, knowledge, teamwork, and communication each and every day.  Finally, “thank you” from me both as the Principal at Gifford but also as a new father, you’ve all been helpful, supportive, and kind as I’ve learned and grown in both of my new roles this year!  Thank you, thank you, thank you…you’re all amazing and continue to impress on a daily basis!

Someday I’ll be looking back at 2020, I can see myself telling Clayton about the wild year that he was born into this world.  I’ll smile as I think about the Gifford community and how it opened its arms and embraced me while wearing a mask and staying six feet away!  I’ll tell him how, despite all of the safety restrictions, I felt that embrace and valued the caring and kindness shown to me each day.  I’ll tell him how people gave me feedback to help me grow as a leader, how people offered words of encouragement and support, and how people asked about him, his mother, and me to make sure we were doing alright.

I imagine that conversation will end with watery eyes as I think back to all of the people who helped make 2020 such a special year for me and my family.  You, the Gifford community, are at the top of that list…thank you so much for everything you’ve done, both professionally and personally, for me so far this year!!!  

To you and your families: From me and my family, your students and their families, and all of those in the future who will be impacted by the effort you’ve given this school year…Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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