Friday, October 2, 2009

Flashback FRIDAY - PRIDE

It was September of 2004. The windows were sparkling clean – with no fingerprints. The hallways were empty, but appeared warm and welcoming, thanks to the artwork on the walls. Every teacher stood outside their door, wearing their best clothes and a big, bright smile. There were no students present that day, as the teachers had originally planned on participating in a staff in-service day. Instead, our school had been chosen as one of the TOP 3 charter schools in Michigan, and the Summit Award Judging Panel would be touring within the hour. My role had been to develop a scrapbook type portfolio of our past years, with facts and photos. The judging panel would then take the portfolio with them, as part of their decision making process.
As the judging panel arrived on the premises, I was part of the “greeting team”. Because they had traveled from the Detroit area, they all asked to use the restroom before the tour. Why I didn’t think to send them to the teacher’s lounge, I’ll never know………The student restrooms were closer, I guess, and I did not foresee any problems, so I promptly ushered them into the sparkling clean restrooms. As the female judge exited the restroom, she kindly informed me that one of toilets had over-flowed onto the floor, and appeared to be very clogged. My face must have said it all, as she quickly said, “It’s no big deal, this happens at all schools….”
Two exciting things happened that year at our school!
1. We purchased brand new, extra strong, flushing toilets for all of the restrooms!
2. We won the Summit Award, despite the fact that our toilets malfunctioned!
Our entire staff, many students and parents were in the audience at the annual MAPSA conference in Detroit to witness the announcement. As I watched the Summit Award Judging Panel present the small trophy to our Director, no words could explain the look on his face. The staff ran up on stage to cheer and hug each other.

I will never forget that feeling of PRIDE.

PRIDE for being #1 out of so many….
PRIDE for being part of the development of something special….
PRIDE for being able to share that feeling with such great people….

Thank you, God, for reminding me that this PRIDE remains strong as a small community continues to strive for excellence, despite ANY interruption that comes our way.

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