Posted on November 21, 2010
Our nation's institutionalized day to heighten awareness about the importance of gratitude for our many blessings is celebrated this week. Thanksgiving is marked by family gatherings and tables laden with food. There will be prayers of thanksgiving, conversation, merriment, football games on t.v., and the afternoon nap that follows. I, like so many of you, am grateful for the obvious -- family, friends, employment, home, community, Hawaii with all of its natural and cultural beauty, freedoms and rights guaranteed by our Constitution, a thriving democracy. Beyond this list are many individuals right here at Mid-Pacific for whom I am thankful. Rather than identify individuals by name in this week's letter, allow me to describe what you do, and perhaps you'll recognize yourself and know that I am thankful for you.
-- Open Houses, Spooktivity, Jump Rope for Heart, school picture taking, Flu Shot day are just a few of the special events and activities you've helped to organize, participate in as docents, paint scenes, decorate the dining room, stuff packets, or supervise students -- all with abundant good cheer.
-- You patiently manage the excited voices and antics of the children in the dining room, keeping watchful eye, and return day after day, week after week, because you know your assistance is needed.
-- Every week fresh flowers adorn the coffee table in the office. The family business donates these floral arrangements because you care about creating a friendly, warm, school environment for the children, faculty, and parents.
-- Now and then, about mid-morning, you whisk in with a box of warm malasadas, manapua, or some other tasty treat and leave it on the faculty workroom table. Just in time when the teachers stop in the office to quickly check mailboxes or use the photocopier.
-- Naptime. There you are rubbing preschoolers' backs, speaking in hushed tones, calming and soothing busy minds so that the teaching team can gather for weekly meetings.
-- You contribute to school fundraising efforts and charitable projects that support the community beyond MPI.
-- You inspire, motivate, and energize the children with thought-provoking questions. You listen carefully, and I mean, carefully. Your observations of each student inform what you plan and how you interact. You understand children and have a deep respect for them.
-- During the day, you're cleaning restrooms, windows, sweeping floors, replenishing paper products and responding to so many other needs. At night, you're in every classroom and office, cleaning and sanitizing floors and tables for use the next day. You deliver the interoffice mail, set up the sound system for special events, and prepare the dining room for Monday chapel and school assemblies.
-- Before 6:00am, you're sprucing up our campus, gathering leaves, trimming the lawn and hedges.
-- You greet parents, answer phones, respond to the needs of the parents, faculty and children who pass by your desk throughout the day, relay messages, order teaching materials, schedule appointments, soothe children with a warm hug and ice pack, take temperatures, clean and bandage cuts and bruises.
-- Behind closed doors, you oversee the online network campus-wide, but also troubleshoot tech problems, manage the website, and help the faculty create the digital tools to evaluate and report student learning.
-- As the children come through the lunch line, you serve them with kind regard.
For all of you (I hope you've recognized yourself in my brief descriptions), I am deeply grateful. You are an integral part of our school community, working together to provide our children the best learning experiences and environment possible.
The faculty, staff, and I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! We have much and many to be thankful for.
Thank you for our children,
Edna L. Hussey
p.s.: Remember to read the teachers' postings, which are windows into your child's learning each week. So many gems!