Friday, January 29, 2010

Going Back to Cali...

Next week I will travel to Los Angeles, California for the America's Choice National Conference. Since our involvement, 11 years ago in this school reform the conference has proved to be a vital link to keep our momentum going in the foundational ideals of the design. It is a way for us to share our stellar work and to learn of the latest strategies and products available for our professional growth. I have been asked to present a "Virtual Tour" of our school and have chosen to do so by showcasing the incredible ways we are collaborating professionally and engaging all stakeholders using technology. As always you can keep up with what I'm learning since I'll be blogging the conference live and posting on Live From the Creek. This also happens to be the time I typically come up with the school theme for the upcoming year. What will the Hollywood hills inspire this time?????

Friday, January 22, 2010

My New Best Friend

For months my husband has been trying to convince me to get an iPhone. He jumped on the bandwagon right after they came out. I was a BlackBerry girl - and contrary to popular opinion - I am adverse to change. Really. He was ready to buy me one over a year ago and instead I opted for the BlackBerry Curve. Over the past year all my "crackberry" friends began dropping off and into an Apple world. Even though I don't relish change I am ususally ahead of most on the technology curve, not behind and around October I started noticing that my BB just wasn't cutting it. Over Winter Break this year I joyfully retired my BB and got the 3Gs!! Now I could kick myself repeatedly for EVER waiting this long. The iPhone is changing my life...literally! No more camera, iPod, phone all taking up valuable sapce in my purse, all my social networks are available at my fingertips, managing my calendar and email is a piece of cake, even my household grocery list has been revolutionized! I am thoroughly enjoying exploring all the possibilities and positively obsessed with finding great new apps. What are your favorites?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Random Streams of Consciousness and Kindness...Part 4

Last Saturday night I was startled by a phone call from our Standards Coach, Suzanne Shall, telling me that an apartment inside our attendance area was engulfed in flames. I immediately turned to the news to see a blazing fire destroying the homes of what I was sure belonged to a number of our families. We began to immediately try to make contact with the 3 faculty members who also live in the same apartments. Thankfully no one was hurt but 19 families lost everything. Six of those families have students who are currently attending our school. First thing Sunday morning we began researching which families lived in Building 13 and starting trying to make contact with them to find out how we could help. Shortly after the emails started coming from my incredible faculty and staff with offers of help and support. By the end of the day they were mobilized into a coordinated relief organization with our front desk receptionist, Julie Middleton, at the helm. On Monday items started pouring into the school for the families and our parents began asking how the could help. We were contacted by our Business Partners, Chick-fil-A and Chets Creek Church and by weeks end thousands of items had been made available for the families so that they could begin to rebuild their homes. It was an incredible reminder, yet again, of how the efforts of a united group can benefit others in extraordinary ways. I have been awed and humbled by the generosity of not only our Chets Creek faculty and staff but of the community as a whole.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Random Streams of Consciousness and Kindness Part 3...

Three days into our Winter Break and five days before Christmas my husband fell 10 ft. through our ceiling from the attic to the floor of our bedroom. He had to be transported by ambulance to our local hospital where they discovered his injuries included a compression fracture of one of the vertebrae in his back and two large, impassable, kidney stones that had become dislodged from his kidney on impact. By the time they were found they had caused an obstruction and his kidney was enlarged. They did vertebroplasty to seal the fractured bone, which worked perfectly. They did lithotripsy on the largest of the two stones and had to leave a stint in the ureter to keep it open until they can do lithotripsy again on the other stone this coming Monday. He was in the hospital up until the day before Christmas. He has been in physical therapy to work on rehabilitating his back almost daily and just this week they discovered he also broke one of his heels from the fall. He is getting a little better each day but still moves very slowly, requires a lot of assistance and is not able to drive. We feel very lucky as he could have been hurt so much worse.

Within minutes of the accident my families began to mobilize - I say families because I am fortunate enough to have more than one. I have my blood related one, my neighborly one and my school one. Your related family is required to love you, it certainly behoves your neighbors to like and get along with you but your colleagues are an entirely different matter. I know people who work in places where the people come and go each day, do their jobs, or not, and then go home. I do not work in one of those schools, and I am thankful everyday that I don't. At Chets Creek I am surrounded by a caring hard working group of people who love on each other and are there each and every time a family member is in need. I am experiencing the depth of their compassion as they have lifted me, my husband, my daughter and mother in law up with support and prayer.

Words will NEVER express the love and gratitude I have for each and every one of them. From the cards, texts, facebook messages, emails, visits and FOOD we have felt love and compassion that has touched us deeply and reminded us what life is really all about - family. I thank each of them for being a part of my family and for caring for us when we needed it most. The level of support shown during this difficult time has been paramount in helping us all heal. My blood related family counts my school family as one of our greatest blessings.