Greetings Panther Nation,
Yesterday I attended (well not in person, but this new way to meet -- ZOOM) a couple of meetings. They started at 7:30 am with our local board of education, then a Missouri Association of School Administrators state executive committee meeting. Lots of veteran superintendents attended this meeting. We talked of the legislation that will be introduced that is NOT good for public education in Missouri and of COVID-19 and the destruction it will certainly have on the upcoming 20-21 school budget. Our school budget is partially driven off of state-wide sales tax. Since a majority of businesses are shut down, sales taxes (conservatively, speaking are very low right now) will play a negative role in our local funding for MCR-2. I am certain that the leadership from our board of education has established a solid foundation that will absolutely carry us through this period of uncertainly. Forward thinking on their part for several years, has prepared our district for this date in time of fragile budgets.
When I has at Hamilton School District 25 years ago, I stole an idea from Mound City to play bingo at the nursing home. I had the FFA officers get several prizes and scheduled a time to play at the Hamilton nursing home. At the time that home had never done this to my knowledge. I did give the Mound City FFA and Tiffany Care Folks credit for the idea. We showed up with twinkies, ho-hos, fruit, and bracelets to give for bingo winner prizes. The FFA Officers began to play bingo with the residents, just like we did in at Tiffany Heights. I noticed a fellow that was in the room that would not play. I went over and asked him why? He said “I don’t like bingo, but I like watching people win.” I began asking him questions, like where did you grow up? what did you do for a job? etc… He was a WWI veteran and was 104 years old, that’s right he would be 129 years old today! The conversation lasted the entire hour of bingo. I remember asking what he did for a living (job). He said he was a mail carrier until WWI started, he joined the Army, served 4 years and then came back to Missouri and resumed his mail carrying duties until he retired 40 years later. I was trying to wrap my brain around what it was like to be a mail carrier in 1910. Seriously? I asked him what he carried the mail in (I meant a horse, donkey, by foot, wheelbarrow, sled, car, Model T Truck)? This 104-year old man looked at me with a most confused (and are you not very smart?) look and said “a BAG son, a leather bag.” I soaked up the wisdom he spewed with every question I asked. Wisdom is what we should be seeking and our staff, students, and parents alike are trying their level best to get it done during these unusual times for our kids. For this, we sincerely thank each and every one of you for seeking wisdom!