Sunday, August 27, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 51 (Who Says You Can't Go Home?)

This is a post that I did when I first got to Douglas in 2010.   The title was "Who Says You Can't Go Home!"

I continue to reflect back on my time in Douglas and my time with Teresa down there.    As happy as I was to leave in 2015, I still value this experience so much.   I loved the time that Teresa and I had together at this point in our lives.  I loved that she was able to stay at 858 and that she went to so many activities with me and got to know a lot of people that she didn't know.   But more fortunately, a lot of people got to know her who hadn't known her before.

At the end of this post, I said that I believe things happen for a reason.   My time in Douglas was so joyful with Teresa.   For the most part, I loved my job and I loved being able to give back.   There are so many wonderful people in Douglas that I will always care about and value.   But most importantly, the very difficult times I went through prepared me for what I have been able to do over the last six months on the Gilbert Board.     When I left Douglas, that had not been a thought and I had no idea what I had learned over those five years would be so incredibly important at so many levels!!

WOW!!!!!! I can't believe that it is Friday, the end of an amazing week. I started my new job as Superintendent of Douglas Unified School District on Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. As is any job in education these days, "I hit the ground running" and never looked back. It has been a week of meeting new people and trying to learn the ins and outs of a new district.

I truly thought when I made this decision to apply for the job in Douglas and leave Gilbert, that the emotional piece for me would be leaving Gilbert El and the wonderful faculty, staff, parents, and children. And it was emotional. What I didn't know was how emotional coming back to Douglas would be. I have truly been amazed by the support of so many people here. I have received emails from former Douglas people living elsewhere letting me know how happy they are that I am the new superintendent. I have been welcomed by the district office personnel and the principals. Next week, teachers will be back and I will be so happy and proud to greet them. They do an incredible job in this district and they have my utmost admiration.

As I have gone around the district and have been introduced to people, I have had so many people tell me how much they liked and admired my mom. This has truly touched me as she has been gone for eight years now.

The pace of life here is so much different. Heavy traffic is no where to be found. The weather has been great--it has rained every day. The district office is 3 1/2 blocks from the house.

Today the district office personnel put on a barbecue lunch (you haven't lived until you have a barbecue in Douglas with all the wonderful Mexican food) for the new people and to say good-bye to a classified person who is retiring and also to the interim superintendent.

I realize that this is only the first week and that there is always a honeymoon period, but I can honestly say that I AM SO GLAD I AM HERE. I hope that I can give something back to this wonderful community where I was raised and contributed so much to who I am today. I truly believe growing up in Douglas had a great impact in so many positive ways. I also believe that growing up here was instrumental in who all of my aunts and uncles who grew here became. They then handed this down to my wonderful cousins.

So here I am, living in the house I grew up and that Teresa was born in. My grandfather bought this house in 1918. That is amazing anywhere, but particularly in Arizona.

I also believe that my years in Gilbert working with dedicated educators has also impacted me in so many ways. Today I was looking for something to put on the Douglas website and I went to the Gilbert website. There was an article on the site about me being named superintendent in Douglas. I was truly touched by this.

I will miss all of the people who have meant so much to me for so long, but know that true friendships will last.

I am glad to be back here in Douglas, Arizona!! And I am proud that I was chosen to be their superintendent. It will be a new and exciting adventure--one that I never in my wildest dreams imagined would happen. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason......... I am feeling very good about this reason being something very important. I hope I am right!!

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