Sunday, August 26, 2012


It sometimes amazes me when something happens out of the blue and comes when you least expect it to happen.  I had something happen this weekend that I believe might be a sort of sign--a sign to keep "on blogging" no matter what..........

Last January, I did a post called "Touching Moments" with a picture of President Obama hugging Gabby Giffords.  I wrote about some touching moments that had unexpectedly happened to me on that Saturday.   

Here is part of what I wrote:

Teresa and I usually go to 5:00 o'clock mass on Saturday evening.  Tonight, neither of the deacons or the altar server were there.  Father Gilbert was all by himself.  Everything went fine, but when it came time for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, there was no one to help Father with the preparation.

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!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sentimental Journey

Last week I had to be up in Phoenix for an important meeting concerning school improvement.  Our District has been in school improvement, but we are slowly turning things around.  We had way more gains than losses this year.  I am proud of the work that the administrators and teachers have done.  We are turning things around and starting to see some positive gains. That is one of the reasons why I want to stay around a few more years to see the results of all of our hard work.

When I was an elementary principal and things would get rough, I could always walk out my door and get so many hugs.  I knew that I would miss that when I got to the District office.  And these past few months, I have missed it tremendously.   There have been some difficult times with some very difficult people who want to take things down, not make them better.  And I have missed the fact that I could walk out and get those hugs.  Although I try to get to the schools when I can, the kids don't know me so it isn't quite the same.

Last week when I was up in Phoenix, I had a little time in the morning before I had to be at a meeting.  I decided that I would go to Gilbert El and just say hi.  I have only been back once since I left and it was for a reception in the evening.  I had not been there during the day.    When I came to Douglas, I was ready to be here.  However, Gilbert El was a part of my life for 20 years and it truly took me over two years to be able to go visit. 

Well, it couldn't have gone any better.  I was able to go around to many of the classrooms and see the kids. It was overwhelming when I went into the classrooms and how excited the kids (and teachers/staff) were to see me.  In particular, the sixth graders were awesome.  I got so many hugs and so many smiles.   What was particularly touching were some of the kids who I spent a lot of time with in discipline situations being so glad to see me.

Although I was very nervous about  going (and I am not sure why), I am so glad that I didn't "chicken out" at the last minute.   I felt so comfortable going around.

In one class, I was asked to read a book that I had given to their teacher.  It is one of my favorite books called The Language of Doves.  It is a beautiful story.   The second grade students were so attentive as I read it.  It made me remember why I am an educator.  

I posted on Facebook about being there last week.  I got so many positive comments.  It was overwhelming!

Today my friend, Carol, sent me a video from a former student.  She didn't know him, but ran into him at a restaurant.  He is married with a little girl and twins on the way.  I have to say that I needed both of these events right now.  I have tried to post it, but I can't figure out how to make it work on my blog.

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.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Taking a Stand

President Theodore Roosevelt said many years ago, "....the man (woman) who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic--the man (woman) who does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who talks and writes about how it ought to be done."

This quote caused me to truly reflect as to what is most important.   And it has caused me to change my mind on something that is very important to me. 

On Friday, I   blocked my blog so that only certain people could read it.  I sent an email to all of my   family and friends explaining to them that I had felt violated because of a certain person who   took something I wrote and only used part of a sentence.  I also posted something on Facebook that I was going to block it without going into much detail.   

The response I have gotten has been unbelievable with the number of people who would like to have access it.    

After much thought, I have decided that I will not be bullied into doing this.  I have written from my heart since I started this blog.  I tell stories of family and of things that happen.  I write about people who mean much to me and their stories.  I write about the humorous things that happen.  I do not write about the many difficult challenges that I have in my job and I am very careful about what I write because I know that anyone has access to it.  Because of that, I was astounded that someone could take a part of a sentence and use it against me.  If that person had written the entire sentence, it would have changed the context.  And if anyone took the time to go back and read all of my postings, I would hope that they would see who I am as a person.

I started this blog when Patrick and I went to Ireland in March of 2008.  I had truly forgotten how much I love to write.  So much of what I have dealt with as a principal and as a superintendent are not things I can write about.  For much of my administrative career, the writing I have had to do is technical of nature.  This blog has given me an outlet to write about things that I feel are important in my life.   

As educators, we teach children about bullying.  We do everything to put a stop to it and to also teach children about not being a bully, not being bullied, and not being a bystander who watches the bully in action and does nothing.  I need to practice what I preach!!  So those of you who knew my mom, know that I have much of her in me.  So I am going to take a stand and no longer be bullied.   And having this blog back where it is available for anyone to read, is the first step. 

I feel as though the first two years here in Douglas were years of getting things in order so that we could move forward.   I am truly proud of the accomplishments that have been made.  And I intend to see  and be a part of what has been started  for the next three years.  I came to Douglas two years ago hoping that I could make a difference.  I feels as though I have brought a lot and we are heading in the right direction in so many ways. I have a wonderful administrative team both at the District level and our school principals.  Our teachers and staff are wonderful.  And I could not have picked a better Assistant Superintendent who was here when I came. Together, we make a terrific team and collectively, our principals, teachers and staff have shown that children come first in Douglas.  The only way that could change is if the Governing Board decides that they don't like what I am doing.  And that has not been the case so far.

I will conclude with another quote that I have always liked.  It is from Edmund Burke.  He  said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

My intention is to "continue to do SOMETHING!" 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We Are Family!

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.

On Monday of Reunion Week, our cousins, Mike and Lena, from San Francisco came to help and I can only say how much I appreciate this.  They were more help than they know.  Kerri came down on Tuesday and was also a tremendous help.  And even, Cameron (age 13) did so much.  He had been here all summer and helped me in many ways.  Both Kerri and Patrick came down and cleaned out the garage and did many other things to make this all work out smoothly.  

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.  

It was truly a wonderful four days!!  All of my generation came together and made sure that everything was set financially and I can only marvel at their generosity.  I know how proud the six original Scotts would be.  Actually, I am sure they ARE proud.  What wonderful role models for the sense of family we had and still have!!!

Wednesday was spent getting everything set up in the backyard.  We were able to get enough seating for everyone under a great tarp.  One of the maintenance men from our district took vacation and he and his son came and did all of the work setting things up.  I ordered the "primo" port-a-potties and the only glitch we had was that they wouldn't fit in the yard.  So we had them on the sidewalk by the garage.  I had to call the mayor and ask for his help--one of the many great things about living in a small town.  It was okayed immediately!   

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.

The first night was green and red chili and beans. All of the serving was done in the garage, which worked out great.  The next evening we had Yaya's incredible enchiladas and red and green corn tamales.  The tamales were delivered warm about 4:00.  Once again, the great part of living in a small town.  

One of the best things that happened was watching all of the kids playing in the side yard.  They were playing tag, etc., and having a wonderful time.  And it was kids of all ages.  The bigger kids were helping the little kids.  What was amazing is that many of them didn't even really know each other, but there was a connection.

There is so much to see and do in southeastern Arizona, so day trips were taken by many families.  I love that our heritage can be shared with all of the grandchildren and great grandchildren.  

Saturday we had a family picture taken at the DHS football stadium.  It is an amazing picture.  It was followed by the actual 90th birthday party at the Elks' Club.  Teresa was in her glory and the Elks' Club was filled to the "brim" with family and old friends here in Douglas.  We had a banner made that was on the front of the house and then transferred to the Elks.   I had no idea how many people were going to be at the party as Teresa kept inviting people and then couldn't remember who she invited.  But everything went very well!!!!!!!!!!

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!!

WE ARE FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!