Floods, hurricanes, California forest fires, and the occasional polar vortex have a way of rallying the best in each of us for each other. As I drove to my office, the temperature on my car read 31 degrees below zero. A woman trudged through the cold on her way to work. I stopped, rolled down my window and said, “Can I give you a ride?” Our concern for one another rises exponentially in times of stress. We understand the basic needs of each other and we instinctively desire to make sure our neighbor is okay. We do not take anyone for granted. Everyone has a voice, everyone matters.
The busyness of our personal lives too often swallows up our attention. We lose sight of the lives around us. Their affairs provide static noise, little else. I am as guilty of this as anyone. But I really do care. Sometimes it takes a polar vortex to grab my attention. I worry about families and seniors vulnerable to dangerous conditions. I fret over school closings, childcare for working parents, hourly wage earners who count on a full week of hours, and safety, the list seems endless. In summary, we need each other and we must support one another. We have an awesome community.
Fort Atkinson is my home and I am honored to serve as your superintendent of schools. This pause of cold reinforces how much my staff and this community enriched my life this past year and one-half. Take time, reflect, then let someone know how much they mean to you. The fierce cold can actually warm the heart.