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Message from our Superintendent

Wagon Wheel

Dear ASFM community,

This has been both an exciting week as well as a complicated one. Seventeen teachers contracted COVID, and virtually our whole English Department was absent for a few days. Fortunately, many are back at school today. Still, we are alarmed.

We are in a different place now. The school year is almost over, and if we double our efforts to wear close fitting masks indoors, we can make it to the end together. Yesterday I spoke to the seniors moments before they walked down the school hallways for the last time for their “clap out.” We have a lot to lose if we can’t stay healthy. For that brief moment, in the hallway in a line of 154–many with tears in their eyes–they silently contemplated the stakes. They all want to celebrate together, but to enjoy a graduation with all 154 seniors will require close attention to COVID mitigation protocols. We, they, all of us must make good decisions.

Wagon Wheels

Mike Kryzyzewski, Duke's Basketball Coach for 42 years, I think is one of the greatest coaches ever in the sport. I’m going to borrow some words of wisdom from him as well as his favorite metaphor–the wagon wheel. I’d like to use his metaphor for the end of the school year.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Coach K–the general themes are of Excellence, Unity, and speaking the Truth:

 "I get a group of people who are talented to commit to excellence and to work together as one. That’s where it starts. Different talents, same commitment.”

“We’ve created a jealous-free zone…We look each other in the eye. We tell each other the truth. And we trust each other.”

“Don’t take your culture for granted. There needs to be a constant renewal of values that lead to camaraderie.”

Visualize the wagon wheel as the complete team with the leader of the team at the hub of the wheel. The spokes of the wheel are the connecting relationships to the leader. If the hub is removed the wheel falls apart. If the outer relationships don’t communicate and connect with the hub, the wheel collapses.

We are all interconnected and dependent on the performance of one another in order to “roll” forward. I need to hear your ideas. We all must take responsibility for our actions and understand the interconnectedness of our lives. The seniors need to understand that the actions of one of them may jeopardize the results for the whole team. Does this metaphor work for us? I think so.

Finally, and perhaps my favorite quote from Coach K, is to enter every game (life) with the belief “that the loose ball you are chasing has your name on it.” Get after it!

You are my team, ASFM Community, let’s make sure we roll through the final two weeks with grace, care for each other and offer the support necessary for our children to feel like “every loose ball” they are chasing has their name on it!


PS This is me cheering on the seniors and our whole community to make good choices!:

Wagon Wheels