End of Another School Year

It seems difficult to explain the end of year chaos teachers face trying to make sure all the many tasks are finished, reminding students to get those final assignments completed and in, sifting through papers and assignments, grading, putting things away so the custodial staff can clean and repair, and finally preparing and planning for what you will need next fall or for Summer School.  Meanwhile students of all ages are focused on being out of school and the activities of summer and giving their minds a rest from the constrictions of programmed learning.  Of course the learning never stops, many students will benefit from numerous activities and summer trips to stimulate their imaginations and creativity.  Teachers will take a breather from the rigor and routines of school.  Some will go to school themselves to improve their knowledge and teaching skill, others will read and plan for the coming year while others will travel and attend to personal tasks that may been neglected or put off over the year.  I am proud of my colleagues who work hard to train and prepare the next generation for the complex world we all will face in the future. 

Sunday, as a Northfield District Staff we said goodbye to two retiring Principal, Bruce DSC00059.JPGSanterre (Pictured here with Susan Mattice) and Special Education/track coach, Pat Foley (pictured here with his sons andDSC00051.JPG family friend).   Bruce Santerre brought wisdom, dedication and a gift for speaking to the heart of the school.  I was impressed many times by his caring and passion for learning beyond the lesson plan, and an awareness of no matter what we teach we need to attend to the whole person before us.  His leadership and voice will be missed in the district.   I have known Pat Foley since January 1987 when I was hired to teach English at the ALC.  He was an excellent team leader and set a tone for working with young people, that was at once supportive and challenging.   Both retirees talked about the staff beyond teachers that do a great job making things work well in the district Bruce mentioned Keith Nohava, head custodian at the high school and Susan Mattice, secretary as examples of two people whose hard work made his job much more manageable. 

Northfield schools, parents and students have been blessed with many hard working employees who strive to make our schools among the best in the state.  When we lose some to retirement it serves as a reminder of how well we are served. As a slight after thought, I had the pleasure the following Thursday to watch Roger Jenni lead the 5th grade band in a concert and march around Bridge Square.  The music was excellent though the parade was a bit of a wait as the police made their way through rush hour traffic to close Division Street for the marchers just in time to avoid the rain.   After the march the concert featured several marches, which featured the various sections of the band, they all sounded great.   The concert also featured two solos sung by one of the band members.  DSC00015.JPGI was very impressed with the whole concert, Roger’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious; he is amazing in the way he challenges and pulls from his students such great performances.  In spite of the few raindrops Bridge Square was beaming with pride and thanks, a great way for anyone to end their school year.

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