With the warmer weather and longer days, June delivers sunshine alongside time to pause and reflect.
In May, both Lewis-Palmer High School and Palmer Ridge High School presented their graduates to stands full of proud families and friends. I was reminded that it is a privilege to host an in-person event with uncovered smiles. Every year, these are moving and celebratory events. This year, the significance of these honorable traditions felt more poignant than usual, but then, it wasn’t a typical year. This year, our students and staff clearly demonstrated what is possible in the face of adversity. I am remarkably proud of their individual and collective efforts.
We celebrate milestones throughout the year, but graduations distinctly mark the end of one era and the beginning of another. As our graduates embark on various pathways, we take a breath. We grieve the loss of them in our classrooms because each student shapes us profoundly, sometimes more profoundly then we shape them. This shape-shifting occurs, and our students and we are forever changed due to our interactions. Now, we each move forward, and we celebrate our graduates’ new adventures.
As we transition between school years, we pause. Summer provides a respite as it carries us into another season of growth and milestones. This in-between period offers educators time for professional development, continuing education, summer school, program enhancements, website refreshing, new teacher training, reflection, and goal setting. We set our sights on the new school year, evaluate processes, consider choices, and adjust accordingly.
Additionally, we anticipate moving into Phase 2 of our Grace Best facility master plan work in the near future. Our owner’s rep (Anser Advisory/Cooperative Strategies) presented a final Phase 1 update at the May Board of Education meeting. After months of committee and community discussions, the consensus and recommendation to the board was that the older portion of Grace Best should be demolished and the newer portion should be remodeled. You may access all Phase 1 meeting presentations at lewispalmer.org/gracebestplan.
Thank you, again, to all the steering committee members and community members who participated in this process. Your collaborative efforts demonstrate what we can accomplish when we come together for a common goal. This endeavor tangibly exemplifies an effective team effort and another significant milestone.
Time doesn’t stop and allow us to keep our children, ourselves or our buildings young. Investments of focused attention, reflection and money are required to maintain and strengthen our assets (figuratively and literally). We grow and mature with our students. We each have the opportunity to pause and reset, recalibrate, and reassess when we cross specific thresholds.
For me, this season stirs up gratitude for the past and excitement for the future. Our future is largely built on our individual and collective ability to seek truth and understanding. Our ongoing efforts enable and empower us to move forward with courage, compassion, and commitment to making our community a better place now and for future generations.
Dr. KC Somers is superintendent of Lewis-Palmer School District 38.