by Elementary Principal Matt Renwick

The start of a school year is upon us. Many of us in education have been thinking about this new beginning for a while. For at least some of us, there is a mixed feeling of excitement and anxiety. My guess is the students have felt the same way. For example, we embrace the opportunity to meet and greet new faces, yet we really are not 100% sure about how these relationships will fare. Students and teachers are not the only ones who experience these emotions. Parents (myself included) are proud of our child’s next step in life, even while it also represents a gradual release of independence from our care.

Community members may also have mixed feelings this fall as it relates to the upcoming referendum. There is definitely a sense of pride in our community – well deserved. These loyalties to tradition and history also present themselves with a quandary: change. It’s unavoidable regardless of where one lives. As the saying goes, “The only thing that is constant is change.”

While I agree that it is wise to be aware on any emotions associated with our community and history, we also have an obligation to at least be prepared for the future and any potential change. How can we live in two worlds?  One pathway toward cultivating a more objective point of view about a complex and possibly an emotionally-charged issue is by getting curious about it.

When we get curious about a change, we start to ask questions instead of only making assumptions. Now we have mental room to consider what’s possible. There’s a focus on the future instead of only considering what has come before. Personally, I have several questions about the upcoming referendum, including but not limited to:

  • Will the November vote reflect the positive results of the survey we administered?
  • If the referendum does not pass, how will we address the present building issues?
  • If the referendum passes, will the students, staff and community be just as involved in the updating process as they were in the planning stage?

When we explore our wonderings instead of only thinking about what was, the future seems a little bit more exciting. Also anxiety-inducing at times, yes, but knowing that change is a constant, I am more open-minded about tomorrow.