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Southlake Style

Overcoming Obstacles Together

Sep 13, 2011 02:46PM ● By Mike

CISD News with Dr. David Faltys, CISD Superintendent

I am constantly amazed by the resiliency of the human spirit.

Faced with widely publicized state funding challenges, ongoing construction, rising insurance costs, and the possibility of future program and personnel cuts, educators all across the state walked back into their classrooms last month and began doing what they do best – making a difference in the lives of children. I have to be honest with you, the forecast for public education has been a bit gloomy recently, and it has certainly cast a shadow over this increasingly important job we do in public education. It’s tough to be a teacher right now and it’s sometimes tough to lead them through dark days with optimism and hope.

But as I shared with our staff at this year’s back-to-school convocation rally, the resiliency of the human spirit should not be underestimated. One’s ability to overcome during difficult times often reveals most poignantly the character and depth of that individual’s commitment to others. This year, Carroll ISD is concentrating on our core value of Relationships. We know that each and every one of us is connected in our quest to help students succeed. From crayons to college, we want our students to have every opportunity to achieve their dreams and be successful. To do that, we must work to develop strong relationships and to respect the role each and every one of us play in helping students succeed.

Yes, the human spirit is amazing. Take the people of Joplin, Missouri for example.

On May 22 of this year, a catastrophic event changed their lives forever. A category F5 storm damaged and/or destroyed 10 school buildings in that community. Worse yet, the Joplin public school system lost seven precious children and one staff member to the devastating tornado that ripped through their community. The photos we saw of their district showed massive destruction and intense loss. A district nearly the same size as Carroll ISD, Joplin public schools would have had every reason to ask for some time off to heal.

And yet on August 17 – after willingly accepting the help of people from all over the world – Joplin schools opened for class. Just 87 days after life as they knew it changed forever, Operation Rising Eagle was a success. Students who lost everything in the path of the storm’s destruction, attended class in temporary locations, with backpacks of school supplies donated from strangers they will never know. I’m overwhelmed by the spirit of the people of Joplin. I am overwhelmed by educators who care so much about delivering a quality education that they would not accept anything but success in reopening their schools in such a short period of time. They would have had every reason and excuse to throw in the towel at least for a little while. Instead, they joined hands and began rebuilding their district brick by brick.

Our troubles are but mere, momentary trials in comparison to the obstacles that lay in the path of Joplin schools. And yet they didn’t let the insurmountable task at hand diminish their focus on their goal of reopening school less than three months after the F5 storm ripped through the center of their district. I would like to believe that our Dragons would have responded in much the same way.

I’m proud to see fellow educators showing such strength and character in the face of opposition. I’m proud to see America respond during this school district’s hour of need. And I’m thankful to be reminded that the temporary inconveniences we experience each and every day are not even worthy of mention in comparison to the heartache experienced by Missourians these past few months.

I am constantly amazed by the resiliency of the human spirit. And I’m constantly reminded that this same spirit dwells deep in the hearts of our Dragon students and staff. I’ve seen our local kids raise money for others who have suffered great physical and emotional pain. From hurricanes and earthquakes to tsunamis and tornadoes, our Dragons have organized and responded during others’ hour of need. We have awesome students being taught by awesome teachers – may we not lose sight of our blessings.

I hope that you will take the time this year to thank a teacher for the job he or she is doing to provide a quality education under sometimes less than ideal financial circumstances. Our staff is enthusiastic and willing. They have a strong spirit and a deep sense of commitment to your children. It’s that human spirit – the Dragon spirit – that I hope we all keep in mind as we deal with momentary trials and inconveniences. Regardless of the challenges before us, our Dragons will respond with heart and a strong spirit.

Much like an eagle rising from the rubble of one small, Midwestern community.

Simply put, it’s a great day to be a Carroll Dragon.