When I think of all the important work that is done everyday by our staff, I am amazed. We have tremendous people who work hard to ensure that our students have the best possible education. Innovation and creativity play an important role in ensuring that our students are engaged in that learning process.
Today I had the great fortune to be a part of the Eudora Schools Foundation Prize Patrol, awarding a record $10,000 in classroom excellence grants to teachers in all three of our schools. With an eye to innovation, our teachers wrote grant proposals outlining how students could benefit from the awards. We had awards for science kits, sensory tools, novel sets, STEM supplies (Science, Technology,Engineering, and Math), audio-visual equipment and period costumes and props just to name a few.
All of the awards today were made possible through generous and thoughtful support of our community. Whether $5 or $5,000, these gifts make a difference to our kids and teachers, and to our schools. I feel fortunate and blessed to be living in a community that understands the tremendous importance that education has on a child’s life.
Today’s fun would not have been possible without the inspired leadership and ambitious vision of the Eudora Schools Foundation. The foundation board is made up of volunteers who work tirelessly to support our students and staff. Shanda Hurla is the executive director and Kania Shain is the president of our board. For more information on the great work of the foundation, please go to www.eudoraschools.org/foundation or contact Shanda at 785-542-4819. Being part of the success of the Foundation means being part of the success of our schools. Thank you for saying “yes” to both!
Complete with balloons, cupcakes and the signature signage, the Eudora Schools Foundation’s Prize Patrol made their way around the district today. There were looks of surprise not only on the faces of the students, but those faculty who had been selected to receive one of the Foundation’s Teacher Excellence Grants that are awarded annually. The culminating activity today demonstrates the important marriage that our community, our schools and our foundation have.
We all want our students and our teachers to have what they need for learning. People and partners in our community have stepped up in many ways since the Foundation was formed in 2006 — and since the Foundation began awarding Teacher Excellence grants in 2009, our teachers have been awarded more than $20,000 for resources, devices and equipment that helps make this possible.
This tremendous accomplishment would not be possible were it not for two key things: First, the loyal support of the Eudora community, a community that truly places a premium on the education that their children receive — a community that understands that their children’s education forms an important part of the foundation of the citizens that they are to become. The second key element is the dedication and support of the members of the Foundation board. They are your neighbors, your coworkers and your community businesses. The board is a group of community members who seek to go above and beyond to support the important work that takes place in our schools every day.
The prize patrol made visits to every school in the district today. They awarded over $6,000 in teacher excellence grants to teachers and students this morning. This is a significant investment back into our schools, through projects dreamed up and brought to life by some of the best teachers you’ll find anywhere. An investment worthy of recognition. Thank you Eudora Schools Foundation!
I feel blessed to live in a community that understands the value of the education our children receive. Apart from their parents, the single greatest constant in many of our students’ lives is a teacher. Their teacher is a face that greets them in the morning, ears that listen to their stories, and inspiration that opens the door to the adventures of life. Their teacher is who sends them home at the end of the day exhausted, yet stronger in mind and body.
We have a staff team that meets our children wherever they are and strives to provide them with opportunities and experiences that they might not normally have. They build relationships with students that will weather the tests of time and tribulation. They work for so much more than just teaching standards, but rather in pursuit of the undeniable satisfaction and joy of seeing the “light” of learning, exploration, and growth. Our teachers understand the exacting standards that life will place on our students, and they cherish the role they play in preparing students to embrace what life has in store for them.
We have a teaching staff that understands the meaning of the terms sacrifice, dedication, and relationships. And I see Eudora teachers all throughout this quote from philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller:
“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person!”
And on National Teacher Appreciation Day, I want to thank our teachers for making a difference in the lives of our students. Thank you for being that “one person” in the lives of so many.
You just couldn’t ask for a better day to be outside. To top it all off, we had a chance today to spend some time at the Eudora-De Soto Technical Education Center for our first annual car show. Mother Nature couldn’t have provided a better day to spend enjoy some world-class pulled pork tacos as well as custom cars, tractors and bikes.
I want to take my hat off to several Eudora High School staff members who really stepped up to make this event possible. Chris Paxton – auto collision, Andrea Pyle – health care, Chef Jack Low – culinary arts, Mitch Tegtmeier – wood working instructor. Our students benefit because of the level of commitment that our staff members give every day to our students.
The best part of the day was really being able to see our students engaged in true college and career readiness today. We had an awesome demonstration of what is possible when you combine real-world experience with engaged students and dedicated staff.
Kudos also goes out to members of our community and their support for vocational programs. I am truly amazed at the number of truly quality programs that our students are able to participate in. Students are able to experience professions that we simply did not have exposure to when I was in school. (My cooking skills could have certainly used a culinary class!)
Our students overhauled the body of the pickup shown above. The truck along with other items were auctioned off today. All of the proceeds from the effort today go back into programs benefiting our students. I am proud to be part of an organization that truly defines college and career readiness.
On Tuesday evening, I had a chance to sit and listen to our band program. The program began with our youngest participants (6th graders) and ended with our high school band. As I listened to their performances, I was taken by a couple key notions.
The first was that it was truly amazing to sit and listen to the development of the individual bands over time. The selections played by the sixth graders were shorter and focused on basic skills. The seventh and eighth grade band played selections that were not only longer but also more challenging. Our high school students really capped off the evening.
In reflecting, the band’s performance really mirrors the growth of our children. Over time (with love, nurturing, and guidance), students mature and begin to make decisions and solve real world problems. Thanks to adults both in and out of school, our students are afforded an environment here in Eudora that allows them to fully develop into their greatest potential.
The second key notion that I reflected on is the role that each and every course and activity has in providing students with experiences, not only for their individual development, but life in general. We understand that in addition to the wide variety of core curriculum our students can experience, there must be opportunities and exposure to career and technical programs, fine arts, academic and sport programs. I believe that we all desire our students to be well-rounded and capable of making positive life-long choices after they graduate from Eudora. Each of these programs play a role in molding our students into the citizens they will be.
It was a great concert — I could have sat and listened all evening long!