I sit here on a Saturday morning in the middle of September collecting my thoughts about a school year that already seems to be moving too swiftly for my liking. Tonight we are already culminating our week-long celebration of Homecoming with our annual dance. It has been a great week! The student council has done a phenomenal job whipping up the spirit of our student body and staff. I heard more than several times this week that our students have not demonstrated this kind of spirit in many years! Class games and the Homecoming game yesterday proved that statement was a fact! Both students and staff participated and enjoyed class games and the turn out of fans to see our football team finish victorious in their homecoming game last night was inspirational! It is hard to put into words the feeling one has when the students and school community are “in the moment” and you can see the emotion and joy these kind of events create for our kids. After all, is that not what matters? That all the effort and hard work has a pay off that benefits the kids in our charge. As long as we can look in the mirror and say I did my best today to make our school the best place it can be for our students, we have done what matters! I feel the same way when I walk through the halls of our school and witness students and staff working together to create new understandings and develop new skills. There is a lot of hard work being done by both the staff and student body in endeavoring to meet our mission. The challenges we are providing for our students is paying off. We had more students pass AP exams this past school year than we ever have before. More than 65% of student who took Advanced Placement exams passed them! Fifteen percent more than the national average! Students, teachers, and parents worked very hard to make sure those students met the challenges to be prepared. These are the thing that matter! Achieving milestones such as these are not easy. It takes a lot of hard work. Many times what we ask of our students is not intended to be easy. Easy work generally means little to no pay off. We must remember that the entire school, students, staff, administration, and the wider community must be willing to sacrifice and face discomforts in order to grow. When we look in that mirror and ask if we challenged ourselves today the answer should be a resounding yes. I cannot say enough about how our community has stepped up to the plate to support us. By passing referendums to fund the building of a new school, they have made their commitment educate generations of students for the community. We have to commit ourselves to live up to their expectations! If we continue to do what matters, we will not let them down!