It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood…

A home is not a home without a gnome

A home is not a home without a gnome

After my heart operation last summer I was healed enough to get a job.  The book, “The Wolf’s Moon“, was still selling but due to my need to put the world back into perspective, I applied and was hired as a substitute janitor.

At first, it was at the high school.  I swept and mopped floors, scrubbed desktops and whatever else it took for the students and teachers to have a clean environment.

During my months there, I had the pleasure of getting to know the teachers and staff.

They are some of the hardest working people I have ever met.  Everything they do isn’t “just for a paycheck.”  They do what they do for more – each and every student.

When many people finish their eight hours (unless they are paid overtime pay), they are on the way to “Miller Time.”

I can’t tell you the countless hours the teachers spend after the kids leave.  Yes, they do get paid extra for doing things like coaching or cheer-leading practice.

Still, it’s not that much for the hours invested.

It isn’t just after school but weekends as well.

If they aren’t working on the next day’s lesson plan, they are grading papers and then they take care of their own families.  Making suppers, washing clothes and all the things that go with home life.

Then there are the people that hold everything together – the office staff and counselors.

Everyone from the superintendent on down to the cafeteria staff works for one end – the students to succeed.

Then I worked at the Middle School and the Elementary School.

What was really interesting is that I found no difference in the caliber of teachers or staff.  The principal at the Middle School was always on hand – even at away games.  The school nurse was there to assist if the need arose.

In a small school district what makes such a difference?

It is an easy question to answer – the people who sit on the school board.  They work on the board for one reason.  Again, it is for each and every student from preschool through seniors in high school.

All the work, all the time and effort by each and every person involved in the teaching of the students is rewarded by the standards the students live up to each day.

Many of the seniors are going on to college.  They have all been properly prepared.

One of my young men from the basketball team was appointed to West Point.

I was lucky to get a job, making a paycheck and regaining my confidence.  Most of all I found a high and profound respect for each person in this school district.

By themselves they are wonderful, together, they are the best.

Any doubts, ask the students.  They will be more than happy to tell you.