Reflecting on Excellence

Excellence is a process that should occupy all of our days.                ~Ted Engstrom

Week 17 in Review

Last week was amazing.  From our job-embedded learning together to our pep assembly and finishing with our amazing faculty lunch, I found myself thinking about how very fortunate I am to work at Benton High School.  Every day is new and exciting.  Granted, there were days in the last year that seemed to never end, but not once did it steal my joy for work.  It’s my Christmas wish for you that you have the joy of feeling the same.

Week 18 – A Look Ahead

This is going to be a short and exciting week.  Monday is the last day the library is open so that we can clear it out to stage our laptop roll out.  Tuesday, hoping the snow holds off, we expect the arrival of the devices.  We will also have an exciting Christmas Pep Assembly at 2:10.  Wednesday, we will have 15-16 classrooms worth of furniture delivered (to be assembled) to the cafeteria.  And just to keep things hopping, we have finals on Wednesday and Thursday.  Don’t forget to send your finals for absent students to the office.  Those tests will be administered on January 5-6 through the office.

 And for all of you, we wish you a blessed holiday season.  It’s been a great first half of the school year.  I think more than anything, we have grown closer as a family.  It made my heart soar when the varsity basketball boys shared with me the fact that they say “family” in their team shout right before they play.  The spirit of the season resonates daily for me when I think of you all – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

~ Excellence is a journey not a destination. ~

Photos found in CC on Flikr:  Sugar Plum Snowflake by CaptPiper ;Star of Wonder by c.a.muller; blizzard bird the Christmas card by Steve took it

Twelve Days of Excellence

I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end. ~ Abraham Lincoln

 Week 16 in Review

As I think about this last week, and the last sixteen weeks, I realized I have so much to be thankful for on our journey of excellence.  In the spirit of the season, here are a few of my favorite things…


On the first day of excellence the Superintendent gave to me, a staff with spirited responsibility.



 On the second day of excellence the Associate Superintendent gave to she, two Assistant Principals who are amazing to every degree.

 On the third day of excellence the HR Director gave to we, three offices with sensational secretaries.

 On the fourth day of excellence we all select one of to receive, four periods of job embedded PD.

 On the fifth day of excellence the district gives to thee – five days a week of job security.

 On the sixth day of excellence all content area gives to many, six periods to plan for lessons collaboratively.

  On the seventh day of excellence the district gives to Z, a day of each week to organize our activities.  (Thank you Z)

 On the eighth day of excellence in a role always supporting, eight groups of staff who are always there for us and make teaching a possibility. (SRO, Nurse, Counseling, Maintenance, Nutrition, Secretaries, ISS, Library)

 On the ninth day of excellence our students will eventually see nine weeks of school (times four times four) that ends in a degree.

 On the tenth day of excellence, I know we’ll all agree, are the number of weeks in summer required to return in August peppy.

 On the eleventh day of excellence, in our staff it’s plain to see, eleven of the finest instructional departments in the SJSD.

 And on the twelfth day of excellence, for time to celebrate and be merry, are days of winter vacation to spend with your family.

Thank you to each one of you for working hard and staying the course on our journey of excellence.  You are making a difference each in your own way.

Week 17 – A Look Ahead

This week is not much different from so many others; it’s packed with events we need to be prepared for.  Make sure you take notice and remember: This is CAMP grade week.  We will have a specific activity on Thursday/Friday, so make sure you review grades with students on Mon-Wed!

Wednesday – Leadership Team meets in room 106 at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday — JEPD in the library.  It’s SUPER important for everyone to attend on this day.  There are only six school days left before we roll out laptops to our students.

Thursday – PEP Assembly schedule (for winter sports).  Wrestlers leave for Harrisonville Friday and both basketball teams play at the Civic Arena in the City Showcase on Thursday and Friday nights.  Coach Z will send a schedule to the staff early this week.


SS, PE & Counseling:  Entree/Main Course

SpEd, IT & FACS:  Appetizers,

Sci, Bus & Libr:  Salads/Breads
CA, FA & FL:  Desserts

Math, Admin & Secr/support: Veggies/Fruit


~ Excellence is a journey not a destination ~

Photos are available by Creative Commons in Flickr:  1 by chrisinplymouth; Number 2 by Leo Reynolds; 3 by Leo Reynolds; 4 MPH by Leo Reynolds; 5 by Leo Reynolds; 6 by Leo Reynolds; 7 by Leo Reynolds, 8 by Leo Reynolds, SC Cabin 9 by Auntie P; pool ball – Number 10 by Leo Reynolds; Advent calendar drawing number 11 by Leo Reynolds; 12 by Leo Reynolds; Ornamental View by Joe Gauder.

An Excellent Life

Men of perverse opinion do not know the excellence of what is in their hand, till someone dash it from them.  ~Sophocles


Week 15 in Review

Last week, we lost a dear friend and iconic servant for the St. Joseph School District.  Brenda Elifrits was a woman who encapsulated excellence in the work place.  She reminded me constantly of what excellence was; through so many difficulties that life has a tendency to throw at us, she lived professionally excellent.   I hope I can live my life similarly.  I hope you will too.  Daily we are offered the opportunity for a wonderful life.  I hope you each embrace it and live it in excellence.


Week 16 – A Look Ahead

This week we must stay strong.  It’s important for everyone to remember that we must provide excellent lessons to our students right up to the finish.  Do not compromise your class time.  Movies, worksheets and free/catch-up days are not teaching.  You should not make concessions to planned lessons and engaged classes.  There are three weeks left this semester.  Finish strong.

This week, we have CAMP Congress on Tuesday and a two-hour early out for district departmental PD on Wednesday.  On Thursday, the library will be closed at 10:30 for Southside Rotary to hold their annual lunch meeting with the choir performing a few special songs for the group.  Thursday is also our last ACT Academy session for our first in-house training.  And you don’t need a reminder that winter break is going to be here all too soon.  Thank you to all of you who provide excellence in education for our students every day.  It is important for us to live our lives professionally excellent every day. And with that, a toast to Brenda…”for a life of professional excellence.”  Hear, hear.

Photos are Creative Commons on Flickr:  “starry starry night” by bookgirl; “Snowflakes.” By Andy.Schultz