Unfortunately, many times the opportunity to speak is requested and granted to by someone who is unhappy. Oh how we all love to put together a good rant! I have one in my document file that I open every now and then and edit just to see how right I am again. Ha! I haven't convinced myself to share it because really I haven't convinced myself that a rant ever really changes the behavior it addresses. It makes the author feel good - but we are so desensitized to the emotions and polarizing opinions of the folks with whom we interact, I am not sure that we do any more than receive the praise of those who already think like we do..
You could feel the board room brace Monday night as the President of the Board called her to the podium. A lovely lady with salt and pepper hair coifed with precision approached the microphone. She introduced herself as a graduate from the class of 1964 (I think). During the next three minutes she took the time to thank Union's Board of Education and the administration for allowing her class and FIVE decades of Union alums to use our facilities for a reunion. She noted that even a graduate from 1937 was in attendance. She marveled at the tour, the beautiful spaces our patrons support through bond elections, the ease with which every one worked with their group in planning the event, and the incredible learning opportunities we offer students today. Her words described the great pride she holds as a Union alum and celebrated the growth of the district.
She didn't just come to brag, though. Their alumni group had a remaining balance left in the reunion fund and the group voted to give it back to the district in the form of two gifts. The first gift is a $500 scholarship for a graduate from the class of 2016. The second gift- they urged the board to consider using to rename the old football field located south of the Sixth and Seventh Grade Center. She asked that the facility be named after the football coach from the sixties who had led the Redskins to our first football state championship in school history. Her fond remarks about the gentleman moved me to small tears as this coach, teacher and administrator had poured into enough children that even half a century later his students chose to honor him.
I am inspired by the responsibility this alumni felt toward Union High School felt to give back and to honor. It was a stark contrast to some of the noise we hear today.
The greatness she described manifested itself again last night and again tonight. We asked our admin team to be present at the board meeting and to be fans at our students co-curricular activities - and in full force they did. What an honor it is to be a part of team, part of a legacy, who is and always has been 'all in".