Education column: Superintendent looks forward to upcoming year

After the district’s incredible kick-off convocation last Friday, keynoted by Mike Moses, retired superintendent and commissioner of education, the doors are open, and students have arrived and crossed the threshold of school year 2011-2012.

That first-day-of-school excitement is in the air; new school clothes are still crisp; and brand new school supplies barely used. Moses spoke of the importance of using words of affirmation for students as well as colleagues and the importance of functioning as a solid team, illustrated by many humorous stories from his long history in education, illustrating points and concepts with a lighthearted twist.

Looking forward to this upcoming year, Clovis schools Superintendent Terry Myers shared the following vision and provided an update on district projects:

“Our focus is on student performance in our classrooms. Every child is important and must succeed in our schools. Every child — every time will be our standard.

We also appreciate the continued support of our community. The quality education we provide for our children in Clovis would not be possible without this support. We hope to continue to provide a quality education for our children at CMS. It is our sincere desire to set the standard, in and outside of the classroom for public schools in New Mexico.

We are pleased to continue to honor our construction commitment to our community. Major construction is nearing completion at Marshall Middle School and La Casita Elementary.

New schools will soon begin at Lockwood Elementary and on our new middle school site. James Bickley Elementary will also receive an entire new facility, beginning during the 2011-2012 school year. The Arts Academy at Bella Vista will also receive major renovations this year. The High School and Freshman Academy will receive major roofing upgrades this year as well.

Each of these projects is part of our intended use of our 2008 and 2010 bond issues. Project costs are or will be posted as each project is completed.”

It’s clear a lot of activity will be taking place during this school year alongside our primary function of educating our community’s children.

A first-day-of-school visit to La Casita Elementary’s ribbon-cutting ceremony represented so well the sheer joy that comes with new beginnings. While much of the major construction is still under way inside blocked-off wings of the main building, student enthusiasm remained undimmed. The ribbon-cutting was to celebrate the official opening of the new playground equipment, installed on a bed of rubber mulch, providing a soft surface under the equipment, a great use of 21st century resources and frequently used on school and public playgrounds (http://www.rubberecycle.com/).

The prospect of the completed new playground was clearly tantalizing for students. As the ribbon was cut, students surged forward, cheering in delight as they charged onto the play area, grade by grade, and attacked the attractive recreational equipment. It was one of those laugh-out-loud moments, watching the utter joy of those students.

Robert Brault said, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”