by Dr. Richard Canfield, Superintendent
As signs and symbols of Thanksgiving appear on bulletin boards and students talk about the meaning of the first Thanksgiving, I find myself reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for in our community.
I am thankful for the heartfelt dedication of our teachers who arrive each day, looking forward to doing all they can to help every student succeed, and to help each student discover the unique and special qualities that they can bring to their school and their community. I appreciate our teachers’ passion for the subjects they teach, and their appreciation of the special opportunity to be a part of the lives of their students. I am also thankful for all the members of our staff who build meaningful relationships with students through the opportunities to serve as coaches, club sponsors and advisors.
I am thankful for all the staff members who support the work of teaching and learning in a variety of essential ways. The secretaries in the front offices of each school, and those behind the scenes in Special Education, and Guidance, in the Health Offices and in Food Services , Facilities and Security, and those in our Business Office. And, of course, I am not the only person who, on a regular basis, thinks: “Thank goodness for Joan Caulkins!”
I am thankful for my Administrative Team of Principals – Dr. Ellin Booras, Marc Smith, Deb Landry, Trish Hill and STEM Director Gil Newton; Assistant Principals – Chip Hill, Ann Wagner, Beth Hebb, Chris Dintino, Brandy Clifford and Marian MacPherson; our curriculum leadership team of coordinators and department chairs; our Pupil Services Team of Matt Bridges and Marilyn Vrountas; for Alan Hall and his facilities team, and Michelle Austin and her masterful handling of finance.
There are so many aspects of a superintendent’s job, and I am blessed to be able to draw from the expertise of so many of our employees. Their wisdom, knowledge, and personal commitment to protect , and educate all of the students placed in our care is an awesome responsibility—I am thankful to all who accept this responsibility with great pride in our profession.
I am thankful for the families who support us, who challenge us, who trust us with their children’s safety and education each day. Families help us create better schools for the children and youth of our community by challenging us, as well as by supporting us.
I am thankful for our town officials, school committee members, and for all that our Sandwich taxpayers for their support, and for the many volunteer hours that assist our schools, and make Sandwich a great community where Sandwich Learns Together.
Most of all, I am thankful for the children and our young adults, and for the smiles they bring with every encounter. My heart is filled when I see the parade of kindergarten children marching by my window here at Oak Ridge, happily marching behind their teacher; when I am approaching SHS/STEM Academy and a student sees me coming from a distance and waits, holding the door open and greeting me with a smile; when I walk by a 5th grade classroom and see students enthralled by a story being read aloud by their teacher. These are those precious moments that make us all realize that we have great kids in Sandwich – all of them.
To all, I wish you, your family and your friends a Happy Thanksgiving.