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Hill Country Living

February is the month of Black History and Valentines and my youngest kid has come home from school every day talking about one or the other or both. I’ve heard so much bout Ruby Bridges in the past two weeks that I think my kid might have developed a crush. Which would really tie Black History Month and Valentines together nicely.  

I’m happy that he is being taught some of the stories of American history that I was never taught much about in school. It wasn’t until I was in a high school AP American History class that I learned about some of the events my child can thoroughly recall to me now as a third grader. And I went to school in the ‘90s! The 1990s! 

Speaking of Valentine’s, the dance is this evening at DES gym. My youngest kid said he’s “only going for the food,” which is kind of worrisome because I’m not sure what all he’s expecting in terms of culinary offerings at the elementary school. 

He claims he’s going to buy his ticket, get a plate of food, sit in the corner to eat it and then leave immediately. I think he’s trying to avoid one of those dancing-with-a-girl situations in which boys occasionally find themselves. Let me assure all you males that a girl would be perfectly fine sitting in the corner and eating a plate of food. And might prefer it! Maybe even alone, as well. So don’t sweat it! 

Last night there was a community meeting at the high school cafeteria where the townspeople got to give some insight to the board about what we’re looking for in a superintendent. And by giving input I mean all of the attendees writing down on index cards what they see as their “Vision of Excellence” in the school and what qualities in a superintendent it would take to get closer to that vision.

I’m bad with assignments and don’t actually know what I’m looking for in a superintendent, mainly because I’m not exactly sure what it is a superintendent does. I mean, like, very specifically. Does he/she decide if we have art classes or not? 

Because if so, then I want one who decides to have art classes. And longer recess. That’s about as far as my input went. Other people had much more in-depth questions about the process of recruitment and hiring, but that’s not my strength. I think it’s important to not only know what you’re good at but to also know what you’re not good at/other people are better at. There were some people in that cafeteria last night who were very good at superintendent-finding and vision-of-excellence list-making. We will all have those people (and our teachers, of course) to thank when our schools improve. And I have no doubt they will.

My kids were also with me for the meeting and their list for “Vision of Excellence” included things such as starting school at 9:55 a.m., allowing cell phones in class, free lunches (already a thing), and hot donuts for all. The last suggestion was very compelling and I agree. 

I had never been in the high school cafeteria before and it was surprisingly small compared to the elementary school cafeteria, especially considering the people it serves are larger. But there is a very big wall of student paintings on one end of the cafeteria. They are really good! Everything from a fully dressed hamburger to your classic silhouette scene of a wolf howling at the moon to a solitary gorilla in the zoo beside a giant tire swing to a baby surrounded by various baby supplies to several fish-taking-bait portraits. The pieces were interesting, well-done, well presented and numerous. I don’t know when those works were done or if they ever rotate them out but I’ve always thought every school needs a student gallery. That’s the sort of thing I would have written on my Vision of Excellence list. And there it was, already there.

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