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Thankful Reflection from Marc Smith

Mr. Smith takes a selfie with some of his first grade friends at lunchtime.

Thankful Reflection

by Marc J. Smith, Principal – Forestdale School

I find that since becoming a father I look at many things through different eyes than I did before my children were born. I also find that perspectives on these same concepts have further morphed since becoming a father who also is a school principal.  One of those shifts has occurred around how I see certain holidays.Before children I saw Thanksgiving as a nice time to reconnect with family, a time to enjoy a nice home cooked meal and a time to enjoy some bonus NFL football on a Thursday.  However, today I see in each holiday an opportunity to explore values and messages that I can communicate to my two children at home and my 523 children here at Forestdale.  For me, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect upon all that I have to be grateful for, to step away from the daily nuisances, annoyances, frustrations and challenges that can seem never ending and think deeply about all the things for which I am grateful.So here are the Top 10 things I am grateful for here at the Forestdale School:

  1. My job – I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given to lead the Forestdale School this year and beyond.  I am so fortunate to be part of the fantastic community that exists here and the confidence that the superintendent has placed in me to lead our PreK-2 community through the next phase of district reorganization.
  2. The smiles that I see each an every day on the faces of our Forestdale students.  Whether it be them coming off the bus, waving to me in the hallway or the hug I got from a first grader today in her classroom, the Forestdale students have an amazing ability to warm my heart each and everyday.
  3. The kindergarten class that still says to the teacher when I come in, “Mrs. _____ the president is here again.”
  4. The second grade class of students that see me in the hallway and say, “Hello there Big Cheese.”
  5. Our hard-working and dedicated faculty and staff here at the Forestdale School.  They continue to amaze me each day with their thoughtful approach to teaching, dedication toward their own professional growth and compassion for student needs.  They continue to work diligently week after week to ensure that this school year is everything your children deserve all while surely struggling with their own uncertainty about the transitions to come next year.
  6. The tireless group of volunteers that work to support our students and staff here at Forestdale.  Whether they are helping in classrooms this year, raising funds, copying papers or helping in the planning for next year, we are so fortunate to have so many people willing to donate their time to the children of this school.
  7. Our building – In preparing for our reorganization next year, I have led a team on a series of site visits to other schools.  In seeing some of the physical buildings in those other districts, I was reminded of how nice a facility we have here at Forestdale.
  8. Our building looks and “performs” so well due to the dedication and sense of pride that our amazing custodial staff displays.  As the principal, it is so comforting to know that I do not have to worry about that aspect of management… and for that I am very grateful.
  9. The warm welcome I have received since arriving here at Forestdale.  I am truly appreciative of the way the Forestdale Community has welcomed me in and accepted me as one of their own.
  10. High Fives!  Our Forestdale students love to give me high fives when they see me throughout the school.