This is a copy of an email I sent to everyone who works in our District today:
DUSD Administrators, Teachers, and Staff,
I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you today as we come back after the horrible events that happened in Connecticut on Friday and all of the news coverage over the weekend. Every shooting that we have had in this country has been a tragedy. However, what happened on Friday is nothing that can even be processed. Losing 20 six and seven years olds is beyond belief. It seems that this has touched the core of everything that is right and wrong in our society today.
I don't believe that we will ever be able to fully understand or know why Friday's massacre happened. There will be all kinds of theories and all kind of reasons that politicians and the media will suggest caused this horrific event to happen.
I would like to share with you something that I feel strongly about and maybe one thing good can come out of this horrible day. Public education has been neglected and put down by politicians and the media for quite sometime. We have had to listen to people saying our schools are failing, teachers need to work harder, we have too many administrators, etc. But I believe public education is the backbone of our society and has made this country what it is today. Anyone here can get an education at any time, at any age. This weekend, we heard about the heroic actions of many of the educators. Some of them lost their lives trying to protect their children. This did not surprise me at all. I have been in education for many years and I don't know of an educator who wouldn't have done exactly the same thing faced with these circumstances!
As you work with the children in your schools today, please know that you are truly heroes in our society! You come to school every day, walk into your classrooms or offices, and give our children the best that you can. You do this under difficult circumstances, without adequate funding, and low salaries. Public education must take every child who comes to us. We can't be selective.
We hear how first responders are heroes and they are. However, teachers and educators are the quiet heroes! The DUSD administrators, teachers and support staff do an incredible job every day and I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of people!!!
You are all HEROES!!
Monday, December 17, 2012
This is a copy of an email I sent to everyone who works in our District today:
Posted by Cheela at 5:39 PM
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Last January, my friends were planning a trip down here and it was cancelled just before they were to come. I didn't think much about it, but then I started to get worried. I was up in the spring and I could see that she wasn't doing as well as she had before. I was worried about her, but she was always positive. I saw her again in late April and I knew then that things weren't going well. That is when I found out that Jill was going to need another transplant. Although she had taken care of herself so well, transplants only last a certain number of years and Jill had made it 15 years. The scary part for Jill is that she was having to do dialysis during this period of time.
In the middle of all of this, Jill took the time to send a birthday card to my Aunt Teresa on her 90th birthday, which was July 30. For her to think of Teresa's birthday when she was dealing with her health issue speaks volumes as to who Jill is as a person!
One of my all time favorite books is The Prophet by Kahil Gibran. I love quotes and found one from him that I think is very fitting for this post. "In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed." My heart has been refreshed once again because of these wonderful friends.
Posted by Cheela at 7:50 PM
Monday, September 3, 2012
This summer I took vacation days to plan for and have the family reunion and celebration for Teresa's 90th birthday. I took about two weeks in July. I have found that the only way to truly get a vacation in my job is to leave town and get out of cell phone range!!! Of the days that I took off in July, I went into the office at least two times each of the days except for the last day. The last day of my vacation was also the last day of our reunion. So I spent the day cleaning up and putting things away.
As we were looking at the window, one of the people there to help noticed that the pole holding the back porch up had been clawed by a bear!! Since the fire last summer, bears have been coming down further than in the past. I have never seen one at the cabin and the only time I remember hearing about one was when Teresa saw a bear several years ago.
Then on Friday I took a vacation day to go back up to the cabin so that the outhouse could be cleaned out. We have had the cabin since 1960 and I believe the outhouse has only been cleaned out twice. I remember many years ago our Uncle Johnny cleaned it out with a shovel. I remember that very well because I spent the day climbing up a mountain so I wouldn't have to "deal" with this particular job!
When I got up to the cabin, I had to wait for about 45 minutes for the guys to arrive. My poor puggies were not happy with this huge and very loud truck on our property. Notice what a brave pug Diego is..............
They put 300 gallons of water down the hole and then used some kind of tool to break things up. I certainly don't wish to go into detail on this blog... They got as much as they could but there are so many tree roots that have gotten into the hole that they weren't able to get everything. As the guy told me, the outhouse is a "smorgasbord" of nutrients for all of the trees--never thought of it that way.
By the time I got back into cell phone range, I had a text from Kerri saying she was sick and they wouldn't be able to make it down for the long weekend. Needless to say, I was disappointed as we were going to celebrate Cameron's 14th birthday. When I talked to her, she sounded awful.
Since I had already purchased everything for the weekend and was really looking to get away from my cell phone, etc., I decided to go up anyway. I had also invited one of our administrators and his family for Sunday. So the pugs and I packed up and headed backup for the third time this week. Fortunately it is only about an hour away.
Although it was a bit warm during the middle of the day, it was still beautiful. There isn't much water in the creek which is very unusual for this time of year. There has been a lot of rain, but obviously not in the right places to cause the creek to flow. The desert between Douglas and Portal is absolutely gorgeous--so green.
It was a peaceful, restful weekend. Didn't see any bears or burglars!! Listened to music, read two books, enjoyed my friends yesterday and totally relaxed.
I love the cabin and the area around it. It is so peaceful and so beautiful!! It is so great to be only an hour away!!
Posted by Cheela at 12:52 PM
Sunday, August 26, 2012
As he started preparing, an elderly (and very distinguished) gentleman came forth and went up to the altar to assist. This wonderful man is almost 90 years old and suffers from the early stages of Alzheimers. He is always at 5:00 o'clock mass and is often one of the Eucharistic Ministers. It is always touching for me to see him participate, despite the fact that he has oxygen with him and has a bit of trouble getting around. I have known him all of my life. Our families' friendship goes way back and I went all through school with his children.
However, what happened last night was amazing! I am sure at one point in his life he had been an altar boy. He helped Father with the water and the wine and all of the preparation. He then went down to where the altar server sits and knelt down right on the carpet (and I can tell you I wouldn't be able to do this.) He then became the bell ringer during the consecration. After that, he went about his way and did his Eucharistic Minister duties. Just watching this tonight was so powerful. I have given him a ride home a couple of times after church. My admiration for him is immense!! I believe there was a message in what I saw tonight!
Friday I had to go to Tucson for a meeting. I got back just in time to change and go to the first DHS football game of the season. I left the game about half time as I was tired and when I got home, there was a message on the answering machine. It was from the wife of the gentleman that I wrote about. They had been gone all summer to stay with one of their daughters. First she wished Teresa a late happy birthday and told her she wished she could have been here for her birthday celebration. She then started to thank me for writing about her husband on the computer. As she was talking, she started to get choked up and couldn't continue talking. I could hear her quietly crying and trying to continue talking. She was able to say how much she appreciated the beautiful words that I had written about him, but it was very hard to understand her through her tears. This evening, I called her and talked to her. She was so appreciative and so supportive. She told me she was glad I am here and will call if they ever need anything.
Needless to say, this message meant so much to me. And it came at a time where I was considering not allowing just anyone to have access to my blog. I had made the decision earlier this week that I would not allow a bully to keep me from writing my blog and keeping it so that it is accessible for anyone. I truly believe that this was a sign and was not just a coincidence.
For the past two years that I have been in Douglas, a few things have happened that have truly helped me in making some of the very tough decisions that I have had to make in my job down here. They were unexpected and I believe that maybe my mom is up there helping me out just a little bit!!! And I think that is what happened on Friday night...........
My job in Douglas is not done. I have had so many positive comments made to me over the last several weeks from so many different people. Although I came down to Douglas primarily to be with Teresa, I believe that there might be a few more reasons. Although this sign was about my writing, I actually believe it was far more than just about my blog. I absolutely believe it was much more than that!!
Abraham Lincoln said, "I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end."
I have three more years and I can guarantee that I will CONTINUE to do my very best until my time is finished here!
Posted by Cheela at 5:30 PM
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I have dedicated my career to try to do the best I can always for children and the adults who work with them. It has been discouraging to have to encounter a few negative people who are always trying to find fault with everything that is done. So this visit was so important to me. It it all about the children and we can never lose sight of that.
Posted by Cheela at 8:39 PM
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Posted by Cheela at 12:00 PM
Saturday, August 18, 2012
It is hard to believe that it has been almost a month since the Scott Family Reunion and Teresa's 90th birthday celebration. I have truly not had a chance to update my blog and write about what a wonderful four days we had here in Douglas.
And our cousin, Maggie, put together a wonderful book of memories for her and also did all of the decorating, which is definitely not something I enjoy nor do well. My friend, Carol, came down earlier in the month and took pictures of her. She put them together in a beautiful book for Teresa.
I found a man who sells ice for a dollar a bag and the best part--he delivers! We had quite a system in place for the two a day run they made. He would bring the ice to the backyard and put the bags on the "garbage stand." The ice would then be transferred to the ice chests by whatever family was in charge of that job that day. We divided jobs up by families and that was amazing. Everyone pitched in and made things so much easier.
Sunday all of the family attended 11:00 mass at St. Luke's Church. At the end of Father Gilbert's sermon, he did a wonderful tribute to Teresa. It was amazing!! I don't ever remember attending a mass where this was done. However, I don't believe there is anyone who deserved that more than Teresa. She has been a loyal and supportive member of St. Luke's since its inception in the early 1950's. She and my mom donated the cross and many other items to this church.
Sunday evening those of the family who were left, went back to the Elks for a steak dinner put on by our dear family friends (who are more family than anything), the Reidys. Once again, everyone had a wonderful time. As a matter of fact, the Elks would like us to do this every summer as they made quite a bit of money at the bar!!! I love the idea, but I still haven't recuperated from this one. So I am not sure I can organize another one for next summer!!
Needless to say, Teresa was in her glory and is still says she can't believe how blessed she is for the wonderful family that we have. I would agree with her, but we are blessed to have her in our lives!!
Thanks to everyone who made this event possible. I know we will all cherish the memories of those wonderful four days!!
Posted by Cheela at 12:02 PM
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
As I have posted before, there hasn't been a lot going on that can be written about. However, I want this particular post to go down in the annals of family history.
Sheila: "Teresa, who is "Mary Smith?" Teresa: "I don't know." Sheila: "Do you think we should invite someone you don't know?" Teresa: "No, take them off the list."
So I got all of the names done that were on the list. Here is some further conversation:
Teresa: "I want to invite 'you know the guy that did the something ten years ago. I can't remember his name." Sheila: "I am not sure who did what ten years ago, so no I don't know his name." Teresa: "I will call and find out." Believe it or not, that has happened over the last few days. She has called people to find the person who did this or that many years ago so we can invite them!
Sheila: "Who is 'Mary Smith?' Teresa: "I see her at church every day." Sheila: "So she is your friend?" Teresa: "Yes."
This is just a glimpse in what it has been like. This is all happening in between trying to run the District. Now you may not think a medium size District requires that much--BUT YOU HAVE NEVER LIVED ON THE BORDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am taking this week off, sort of!!! I am trying to make sure everything is in order. I am so happy that this is happening for her sake. Having this in Douglas is very important to her and the only way that this could happen would be for someone to be here. We owe so much to her and to our Scott parents. What a gift of family has been instilled in us!!
However, the last few nights, she has cried a lot because of all that is happening. I can deal with just about everything, but the crying is hard for me to take. I know, I am a "wussy" but it is still hard.
And the best part, thanks to all of the cousins who have sent money!!! When I asked her how they did it for the last reunion, she said that they put the money in Edward Jones. So when I needed the first reimbursement, I asked and had to wait 3 to 5 business days to get it. When I asked her about that, she said it was my idea!!!! So I guess it was!!! I bring all receipts to her so that she can make sure it is all taken care of. So, cousins, you don't have to worry about me absconding with the finances. However, you may have to help with my funeral expenses when this is over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As you know, my sense of humor and writing help me deal with all issues. Please know that this has been great for me to be a part of and I feel blessed and honored to be able to do this.
Anxious to see all of you soon!!!
Posted by Cheela at 7:28 PM
Friday, June 29, 2012
Posted by Cheela at 4:24 PM
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
So we went downtown and bought some pretty plastic flowers and drove to Bisbee to put the flowers on the grave. The cemetery there is very old (by Arizona standards). Several years ago, all of Ellen's grand kids gave money to cement the graves to keep all of the weeds out. As we were driving to Bisbee, Teresa told me what a wonderful soul Grandma Roughan was. In many ways, Teresa must be a lot like her. Grandma Roughan lived to be 96 years old and died in 1949. That is amazing when you think about it. She came to the U.S. from Ireland when she was very young. She and my great grandfather moved to Bisbee in 1902. He was a miner.
Posted by Cheela at 7:47 PM
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Posted by Cheela at 1:50 PM
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
On Saturday, May 12, we had our first graduation of the Family Leadership Institute that we are doing in conjunction with Consuelo Castillo Kickbush. It is an incredible program to involve parents in the education of their children. Parent involvement is so important, especially today.
Sunday (Mother's Day), I worked at the cake auction for the Douglas Area Retarded Citizens. This auction has been going on for 40+ years. This year they made about $23,000. It was fun and such a worthwhile cause!
And Friday culminates the school year of 2011/2012 at DHS Graduation at the football stadium. It will be my honor to present diplomas to over 300 DHS seniors!!!
Posted by Cheela at 7:09 PM
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Posted by Cheela at 7:51 PM
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Last Monday night, we started a new tradition for the Douglas Unified School District. We started what I hope to be an annual event called "Douglas Diamond Scholars." We honored all students from fourth through twelfth grades. It was an amazing evening!!
We honored the elementary students at 5:30 in the James A. Brenden Auditorium and then the middle and high school students at 7:00. A fifth grader spoke at the elementary program about the importance of grades. At the middle and high school ceremony, we had a sixth grader and a junior speak.
One of the wonderful teachers who works in our Curriculum Department coordinated this event for us. She did an incredible job making everything work so smoothly!!
Both ceremonies filled the auditorium. One of the fourth grade teachers told me that his student had 21 family members there. I even had a Facebook friend (from Douglas who I didn't really know) there to see her nephew.
Front page of the Douglas Dispatch was covered with pictures and the article. Here is the link:
Posted by Cheela at 7:25 PM
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Posted by Cheela at 8:12 PM
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Not often do I get a chance to compliment a High School sports team and staff that has stayed with us. We had the pleasure of hosting the Douglass High School Soccer team on Friday night and though I was not here while they were checked in I received a glowing report about these young men.
The manager on duty informed me that they were not only well behaved but very polite and left their rooms very clean. This may not sound like much but we deal with a lot of teams from 8 year olds to professional baseball players and I don’t remember a time when this manager had such complimentary things to say about a group of athletes.
I would appreciate you passing along my sincere thanks to Principal Schneider and the Douglass High School Soccer Team and Staff. I was not able to locate an e-mail address for them to copy on.
Posted by Cheela at 9:47 PM