Thanks for another great year!

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” Today is the late Maurice Sendak’s birthday.* Happy Birthday Maurice! And how appropriate that we kick off this week with a celebration! We made it! Another year filled with so many wonderful and exciting events!!

In a short time, Henry, our PFG president will share some incredible highlights from this past year. I had a chance to read the preview version. Talk about insightful! It’s a must read!! Thanks Henry!!

My goal today is simply to share my gratitude for the year behind us and the journey ahead. In the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” In my book, what happens at McAuliffe from day to day and year to year is art. It can be messy, confusing, and even frustrating at times, but when you step back and look at the end result, it is unique, meaningful, beautiful, amazing, surprising, and wonderful.

I’m grateful that we have a bright, strong, committed, and supportive staff and educators who put children’s needs first. They work tirelessly and don’t look at a clock to determine when their day is done. They care about kids, constantly work to improve their practice, and strive to provide engaging learning opportunities that are connected to the real world and meaningful for our students.

I’m grateful that our philosophy is developmentally appropriate and stresses the importance of presuming positive intent, mutual respect, self-reliance, caring for others, risk taking, asking questions, pursuing one’s passions, and that we actively model these tenets for our students as adults in the community.

I’m grateful for our students at McAuliffe. I’m grateful that our students are excited to come to school and often reluctant to leave. I’m grateful that they are eager to try new things and open to considering others’ ideas, even when they DIFFER from their own. I am so grateful that our students want more than superficial compliments and aren’t here to chase a grade. They are articulate, creative, thoughtful, adventurous, and caring and I am so glad that they are our future!

I’m grateful for our community and that we work together to provide a safe learning environment for our students. I’m grateful that, as adults, we model that everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses and we are ALL IMPORTANT and have a place here at McAuliffe and in the world. I’m grateful that we have created an environment where it is safe, for children and adults alike, to take risks. We’ve seen it happen on our Yahoo! Groups, in events like our Science Day/Fair and in our electives, and in our PFG and Site Council Meetings, over and over again.

Last but not least, I’m grateful for YOU. You are a key part of our community. Without you, your dedication, your commitment, and your countless hours of service the children at McAuliffe would not have these opportunities and our school would be a very different place. You have shaped McAuliffe into what it is today!

For those who are moving on next year, we wish you a fun-filled, exciting journey as you travel down a new path. Stay in touch and remember that you will always be part of the McAuliffe family.

For those returning to McAuliffe next year – we have many exciting things in store for you and we look forward to sharing in the adventure that next year brings!

Linda W. – we all wish you a very fond farewell. You have touched the lives of so many of our McAuliffe students, families, and faculty. Best wishes to you on your new adventure!

For all of you – Thank you for making this year a memorable one!! Have a wonderful summer!!

Ghandi once said, “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” While I can’t speak for others on this, I feel truly blessed to be part of this strong and engaged community. My time here has helped me become a more thoughtful educator and parent. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you and your child!

Cheers and happy summer!

Rick

*For those of you who love Where the Wild Things Are check our Google’s website!

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