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November 8, 2019

posted Nov 11, 2019, 3:09 PM by Christine Roman
Dear Parents and Guardians, 

This week I had to attend a funeral for my sister's father-in-law. It was an emotional time as it brought up all the feelings of losing my dad. I was fortunate that my mom, siblings and their spouses were there to get me through it. During our time together, we were able to share stories about my dad and Pop McNeil. On the drive home late Tuesday night I started thinking about all the different values my parents modeled, expected and instilled in my siblings and in me. Character was unquestionably the most important among the other “biggies”, like respect for others and a solid work ethic. Dictionary.com tells us that character is “honesty, courage or the like; integrity.” My parents spoke often about character as something you “can’t turn on and turn off”. They told us that no matter where you are, what you are doing, and with whom you are hanging with, your character should not change. Strength of character is a constant—like a pole star against which everything else is measured. They taught us, by their example, how to behave in different places and situations. 

My mom and dad instilled in us the importance of always evaluating our own behavior and decisions, no matter what others were doing. There were logical consequences for the times when we made mistakes--apologies for being disrespectful, being sent to our rooms, helping to pay for the broken window-- we knew that we could make mistakes but that we needed to own our actions. For me, the greatest consequence of a wrong choice was the disappointment I knew my parents felt. Falling short of their hopes for me really hurt. 

This week, we held a dress rehearsal the day before our Veterans Day assembly. It was a challenging time for many of our students. I was a little more firm and maybe a little grumpy with our students as I reviewed the expectations we expect our students to show. Our students "rocked it" on Thursday morning! At the end of our assembly, I was able to compliment them on their behavior. I am trying to do exactly what my parents showed me so many years ago. I want our students to understand the importance of character, even when no one is watching. J.C. Watts states, “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” It’s my hope and dream that our students will want to do the “right thing” even when their parents, teachers, and administrators aren’t present. 

Have a great weekend!
-Ann
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