Good afternoon Fiske Community. So here it is, the end of the school year. The Fiske Staff has been busy packing up and readying for millions of dollars of renovations. You may be readying for a summer adventure, and I’m readying to step off the path of public education and into educational consulting. I have prepared a final message for you. So without further ado, here it is… ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh Pooh’s quote reminds me of just how lucky I have been to serve the Fiske Community, our students, staff and you, parents and guardians, these last three years. And so, while it does hurt, as I gather my things and my thoughts, the tug at my heart reminds me how much the Fiske School has given me in return for the privilege of leading it. Whatever pain we feel – you or I – is a reminder of where we have been and what we have shared. All this from a stuffed bear… One simple compound word also carries lots of conflicting feelings. I believe we have all just about reached that moment of closure when it’s time to move on. In case you or your child has not reached such a point, but would like some help, I will offer my door and the bulletin board outside my office to tape or tack a message up. With some adults and children such a physical act of doing helps, so I offer it up: a drawing, a note, a thought…anything, really. “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that can change the world.” – Desmund Tutu The fourth graders in Alison Giorlando’s class read this quote in presenting Wellesley Animal Safety Control Officer, Sue Webb, with a check to support SPIN – Stray Pets in Need. In case you didn’t know, students in 4G made pet-themed bracelets (thank you to parent Lynn Youngen for providing supplies and crafting help) and “sold” them for whatever children and adults were willing to donate. Each day following morning announcements, 4G’s students also reminded Fiske staff and students to donate and updated us on how much money was raised. Collection jars were given to each classroom and students from 4G would collect the donations and count all the change and dollar bills. On Thursday, 4G presented a check for $665.95 to Officer Webb. This exceeded the class’ goal of $500. Officer Webb was duly impressed and told the students that their donation will help stray pets in the community find loving homes. The money will be used to shelter pets that are awaiting homes and in this way no stray pet in Wellesley is killed. What a wonderful example of a simple idea started by a teacher eating lunch with her students. (I need to let you in on a secret – there are so many small and wonderful acts like Mrs. Giorlando taking time off her lunch break to eat with her students. I see it in the classroom, out at recess, a chance meeting in the hall, a laugh shared, a tear wiped away. I kid around with some of the teachers after I see or hear about one of these acts of kindness by saying, “You just earned your way into heaven today.” Does it get better than this for me? No. The success of students, one kind act building on another and parents, adults and students working together to better the community is the beauty we lose if we chase test scores or impart our ideal of success on a child. I’ll take children and adults who are Fair, Inclusive, Safe, Kind and Encouraging every day of the week. So this is the story I take with me. It is not scribbled on paper or even left behind on the computer screen you’re reading this on. Instead I will keep it in my head and in my heart as I fondly remember the children who touched my life, the staff members who humbled me with their dedication to the craft of teaching and families who actually cared about the guy behind the principal title. Rereading all this makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile too because the last three years – not without their challenges – have been some of the most rewarding ones of my life. I once met a man who was fond of saying, “Goodbye…for now.” I like that, not as much finality to it with a hope that we’ll see each other again. So, goodbye…for now. In case you’d like to stay in touch, I just created a new email account: firstname.lastname@example.org just for the Fiske School Community. Sincerely, Anthony Colannino
Fiske School Principal
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