Recognizing those everyday heroic acts |

Recognizing those everyday heroic acts

Superintendent's CornerJudy HaptonstallGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

During the 2007-08 school year, the Roaring Fork School District plans to pay tribute to the heroes who make a difference in the lives of students. Whether it’s a teacher who recognizes the unique talents of a student and encourages him or her to develop them to the fullest extent or a bus driver who brings warm clothing for one of her riders, those who work with our children and young people perform heroic actions every single day. All of us in the school district are mindful of the responsibility we have to our students, their parents and our communities. That responsibility, with all of its attendant weight, is best expressed by a quote from Rick DuFour, a nationally recognized expert on learning communities, and an exceptional high school principal in his own right: “Our profession calls upon us to devote ourselves to making a difference in the lives of others knowing that the success or failure of our efforts will affect the aspirations, opportunities and quality of life for our students.” While that is a sobering responsibility, it is one that provides the motivation for doing the work we do in our schools. With so much national focus on what schools do wrong, we want to honor our principals, teachers, secretaries, aides, cooks, custodians, bus drivers, program directors, coaches, maintenance staff, volunteers, community members, district level staff, board members and many others who go to extraordinary lengths to be the difference in the lives of students. Everyone throughout our three communities is encouraged to share stories about heroic efforts on behalf of students. All of the stories will be collected in an anthology and many will be printed in the weekly Roaring Fork School District eNews that is published to all staff and anyone in the community who has signed up for this e-mail service through our district Web site at We hope to share these stories through our local print media as well. We began our school year with a song by Bette Midler, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which celebrates those who go the extra mile to help another person. Our celebrated heroes will receive a small pair of wings, in the form of a lapel pin. Ask those wearing the pin what their special contribution was to the life of one, or many, of our students. Please join us in our celebration by sending your stories to me at or by becoming a hero in your own right through the many volunteer options in our schools. Judy Haptonstall is superintendent of Roaring Fork School District Re-1.

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