June 2019, Some Thoughts on Excellence....Posted by Deb Brown on 6/1/2019 5:00:00 AM
Some Thoughts on Excellence…..
It was with great pride and humility that the Alton Central School accepted the 2019 NH Excellence in Education K-8 School of the Year Award this past May. The outside acknowledgement of the daily work being done for our students was appreciated and warmly accepted. But the greatest reward was knowing that
carefully outlined plans for improvement and personalization had been followed and, as a result, our students are more invested, are attending school at a higher rate, and have a more significant voice in their education.
What is excellence? How does one know when it has been reached? The definition of excellence is “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good”. Difficult to achieve? Yes. Yet the pursuit of excellence can build self-confidence, deepen understanding, and help to develop a strong work ethic. The athlete who tirelessly practices hoop shots, the musician who runs scales and arpeggios for hours, the writer who edits every word with precision, the creative entrepreneur who produces iteration after iteration of an idea so that it’s the best that it can be –are all examples of excellence being a gradual result of striving to do better. The road to excellence seems to constantly be “under construction” as there is always something new to learn, a new benchmark to reach or a new discovery to take place. It is a process, a drive, and an attitude.
For the past three years at Alton Central School, the collective community has come together to focus on the needs of students and how we can best prepare them for the future. Our Strategic Plan calls for focusing on social emotional health, positive relationships, relevant and meaningful instruction, and partnering with the community. The fidelity with which the Plan has been followed has been unwavering. Always perfect? No. But work always done to the best of our ability. As we grow and advance through a relentless pursuit of excellence, we will practice collaboration, think creatively with an openness to new ideas, and always make decisions based on what is best for children.
Accepting the 2019 NH Excellence in Education K-8 School of the Year award is not a stopping place for us. It is a platform from which we will continue to explore excellence in all areas –social, emotional, academic and physical. Our teachers will model perseverance and a growth mindset. Our administrators will encourage shared decision making and an expectation of serving children to the best of our ability. Our School Board will support us as we explore, discover, implement and revise. Our parents must partner with the confidence that children come first. And, our students will reap the benefit of all of us coming together.
This has been a productive and positive school year. We have taken to heart the sentiment from Vince Lombardi – “If you'll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives”. We are amazed – by children – every day.
Pamela Stiles, Superintendent June, 2019