By: Kent J. Cartwright, CPA, CFO, MSBO Board Member, Chief Financial Officer, Public Schools of Petoskey
My how the year has flown. It seems like just yesterday that we were racing to prep buildings for the start of the school year, the leaves were beginning to change, and that first-day-of-school excitement was in the air. How did we get from there to snow on the ground, carols all around, and that rush of holiday spirit that seems to fill the air?
What a wonderful time of year the holidays are, both to celebrate family and to see the awesome musicals and other events our talented students create especially for their families and for us. Sometimes working on the operational side of things keeps us away from those productions, where our students provide some of the best holiday spirit infusion one can hope for. What is more inspiring and apt to put a grin on your face than listening to a bunch of 2nd graders belting out “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” I urge you to take an hour or two out of one of your evenings this year to go and simply stand in the back of your auditorium, gymnasium, or music room and enjoy the talents YOUR school system teaches our kids. I guarantee your will leave with a smile on your lips and a song in your heart.
During this time of year, do not be afraid to take a few moments for yourself. You have all just done a yeoman’s job getting your district ready for a new school year, including getting the schools back in shape, the busses and cafeterias ready, processing all those new employment contracts, and cranking out those start-of-the year supply orders.
If the start of the school year is not our most packed and stressful time of year, it is certainly a close second. The holidays are the perfect time to step back and celebrate another successful start to the school year, unpack the stress that accompanies the start of each school year, and prepare for a long Michigan winter that is still ahead. Before you know it, 2019 will be here along with W-2 prep, making snow-day calls, and peering into your crystal ball trying to forecast what a new governor and legislature is going to do regarding school funding and your budgets. Those challenges await you, but not today.
The holiday time of year provides us a little sliver of tranquility; a calm before the storm; a respite before the snow squall. Take the time this holiday season to recharge your batteries and remind yourself why the jobs we do are so awesome for those students we serve. So grab that significant other, head to an elementary school holiday event for some beautiful singing and a few laughs, and end the night with some quality time. You deserve it.
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