In closing the year with the last Principal’s Message of the 2008-09 school year, I’d like to share some of the words from my speech at Ron Turner’s retirement. These words speak to the “magic” inherent in our community and the “amazing” things that have been and will continue to be created within it.
It’s my belief that we grow into our real knowledge of a place and a people through the thousand unmarked interactions of the everyday and the commonplace. The sense of belonging this knowledge fosters is an accumulation of ordinary experiences not marked as they pass. Who we are with and where we are with them is very much who we are.
It is a knowledge that cannot be strapped on to be acquired, it must be lived. It is a kind of knowledge, about a school, about its people, about one’s self that depends on continuity of encounter that is more a reflex of sensibility than an acquisition. We have made meaning through our experiences at JO this year and what we have created is a collective knowledge which positively impacts learning for all; a knowledge we will continue to build on and develop next year.
What I have discovered through all of you this year is that our learning has been stimulated by exposure to each others’ ideas, thoughts and expertise and has been socially constructed to make sense of and respond to the needs and directions within our John Oliver community.
It has been an “amazing” year and sometimes we take for granted how special our collective experiences have been. On that note, I pass on to you this video clip as a reflective piece that will lead you into the summer with smiles on your faces and laughter in your hearts.
I would like to thank you all for making my first year at John Oliver a rewarding one both personally and professionally. Thank you for bringing value to the everyday by sharing your “stories” and showing me that value lies in creating new possibilities.
Have a restful and at the same time reinvigorating summer holiday.