Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Tribute to Educators, Support Staff and Volunteers

Each year Cochise County has an awards dinner celebrating teachers around Cochise County. Douglas Unified always has three teachers up for awards because we are one of the biggest districts in the county.   We have an elementary teacher, a middle school teacher, and a high school teacher submitted as nominees.    My first year as superintendent, I felt that we should honor the teachers who were nominated from each school at a reception.  In addition, I thought it would be nice to honor an administrator.  So we had a very nice evening honoring these wonderful people.  

Last year, we added a support staff employee and parent volunteer from each school for our Douglas ceremony.  It was a very nice reception held at the Douglas Visitor's Center.  One of our academic coaches, Ken Cormier, did all of the work for the reception and everything was great.

What I didn't think about was all of the support staff who are at the District level.  So this year, we added an employee from food services, district, maintenance, transportation, etc.  Ken and his crew really out did themselves.  Ken had a catered dinner at the Knights of Columbus Hall last Thursday to honor all of these wonderful people who do so much for the students in our District.  

What an incredible evening it was!!!  I was so proud to be a part of this ceremony for so many reasons.   There are so many dedicated employees here in Douglas who truly want what is best for our kids.  And they do this without the compensation that they deserve.

Our Governing Board President, Mike Ortega, gave out the awards. Two of our Board Members helped us in congratulating the honorees.  They were Patty Lopez and Natalio Sabal. 

Ken had local merchants donate gift certificates.  They ranged from $25 Walmart cards to a free oil change.   He is an amazing person and he gets his entire family to help with this event.  What a great human being he is!!  I am  privileged to work with him.

This quote is a familiar one, but I think a powerful one.  It sums up our evening last week.  So many people in attendance that night embody what this quote states.

One hundred years from now,
It won't matter what car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
How much I had in my bank account,
Nor what my clothes looked like,
But, the world may be a little better
Because I was important in the life of a child. 


Monday, April 1, 2013

A Tradition of Love and Family Friendship

I have done a number of posts about the importance of family and traditions that are so meaningful.  In January I did an entry on the passing of our wonderful family "friend" who was a wonderful friend who was truly part of our family --Dennis Reidy.  The Reidy and Scott families go way back to the early days when our families were first in Douglas.  They all lived on the 800 block of 14th street in the early days where Teresa and I still live.

Our families were in each others weddings and were godparents to each others children through the years.   I   don't ever remember the Reidy's not being a part of our family.

My mom was the Godmother to Adena Reidy, Jerry's daughter.  Jerry's good friend, Art Atonna, served as the Godfather.   I know that there were others who were Godparents over the years.  When Kerri was born, I asked Jerry to be Kerri's Godfather along with Judy as her Godmother. 


Recently, Adena and her husband, Rich,  asked Kerri and Eric Atonna (Art's son) to be the Godparents of Maddux, their son.  

So this past weekend, Teresa and I went to Tucson for the baptism.  It was so good to get together with Jerry, Marilyn, Janet, and all of the family for such a happy occasion.   We all stayed at the same hotel and had dinner Friday night together and talked, laughed, and reminisced.    

Saturday afternoon was the Baptism at St. Odelia's Church.  After that, we went to the house to celebrate.  There were a lot of little kids there and it always warms my heart to see how Cameron interacts with little kids.  He loves them and is so good around them.   The kids had a wonderful time, as did the adults.

Needless to say, this was an important event for all of us.  I was proud of Kerri.   I know it meant a lot to everyone to see this  tradition continuing.  

Susan Lieberman says that "family traditions counter alienation and confusion.  They help us define who we are.  They provide something steady, reliable, and safe in a confusing world."  And yes, the world is confusing in so many ways.  Even though all of our elders except Teresa are gone, it is so meaningful that our children see the importance of these family connections!  When our generation is gone, I know that our families will still be important and continued.  I am grateful for that in many ways, but most importantly for Cameron!   The Scott Family will live on as strong and as caring as it is today, I have no doubt!

Dena holding Kerri in Douglas.