Education column: New year should be approached with positive attitude

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy: Clovis Municipal Schools

Summer’s whizzed past once again, and it’s time to begin another school year.

I’ll be sharing what’s happening in our schools — elementary through secondary — during this upcoming year.

Before we get started, however, we want to wish the previous author of this column, Penny Bailey, the very best for the future and thank her for her service to our school district this past year, as well as her past military service to our country.

Lots of new things have taken place in our district in recent months: We have a new superintendent with a new vision; we’re planning to implement some much needed building repairs and renovations; also, we’re working on choosing a site to build a new school.

More immediately, as the first day of school approaches, we’re organizing our resources and preparing our classrooms. With this column we’ll be providing you with a glimpse into our schools and classrooms, sharing some of the remarkable activities of our students and our talented educators.

Recently, at a public event, I shamelessly eavesdropped on a conversation taking place among a group of kids, ages ranging about 7 or 8 to around 11, best guess.

They were eagerly chatting about going back to school, and I jumped in and began asking them questions about their schools and teachers, and they were actually excited as they shared their stories.

The sad part is that I was surprised. We’re surrounded by so much negative news on a daily basis; political turmoil, social ills, kids who are jaded and apathetic, teachers overwhelmed by pressures of high-stakes testing, parents who are absent or not supportive, to name just a few.

I believe we, as educators, as parents, as citizens, should keep the faith and assume that learning is still exciting and fun and more important and pertinent than ever and act upon that premise.

After my conversation with these students, I was reminded of a great quote by former captain of industry, Lee Lacocca: “In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers, and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have.”

Let’s take that to heart as we begin another school year.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at