My Grandpa Westby always used to say, “Nothing ever stands still; it either moves forward or it goes backward.” Grandpa was a retired farmer and I must admit, I really didn’t know what he was talking about at the time and unfortunately, probably didn’t have much interest in finding out. Now however, it makes so much more sense to me. You see as a farmer, what I believe Grandpa was talking about was the immense need to care for the farm machinery, equipment, buildings, animals and even yourself and that if you don’t take care of it or move it forward, then it’s going to deteriorate or move backward. Over time, I have certainly come to appreciate his words of wisdom!
As an educator, I can’t help but apply grandpa’s words of wisdom to our school district. Our district is in the process of planning for two remodeling projects to be done to our buildings this summer. The first we are calling the locker room project and the second is the secured entrance project. I will do my best to explain each of the projects here but it is important to realize that both projects are being funded by various school district revenue streams and not done by increasing taxes of our school district taxpayers.
Locker Room Project
There are basically two main reasons for this project. One includes major plumbing infrastructure issues we are having in our locker rooms. The plumbing infrastructure in this area consists of original equipment that is now over 55 years old. As a result, we are experiencing major plumbing issues resulting in the infrastructure, pipes, etc needing to be replaced. The second is for accessibility reasons. Given that our locker rooms are in the basement level of our building, one of our goals is to increase ADA (American with Disabilities Act) accessibility for all students. We are currently working on a plan that will address both the plumbing infrastructure needs as well as the accessibility needs.
Secured Entrances Project
Unfortunately with the recent Florida tragedy, we were again sadly reminded of the critical importance of school security. Our goal with the secured entrance project is to install secured entrances in each of the three main entrances to our building. The main concept for each of the three secured entrances is that everyone who wishes to enter our buildings after the school day has started will not have direct access into the building. Rather, all people entering our buildings after the school day has started must enter through a secured entrance into an office area before being granted access into the main parts of our buildings. The main reason for secured entrances is to better control the flow of all who enter our school buildings.
Our District is committed to moving forward and both of these projects will help accomplish this! After all, as Grandpa would say, nothing ever stands still!
Patrick J. Westby
"Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work. Greatly surprised, but giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: "Look, son, not even your mother knows that. Don't bother me now, I'm tired."
"But Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour?" the boy insisted. The father, finally giving up, replied: "Twenty dollars per hour."
"Okay, Daddy. Could you loan me ten dollars?" the boy asked. Showing his restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled: "So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Go to sleep and don't bother me anymore!"
It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he said and was feeling guilty. Maybe, he thought, his son wanted to buy something. Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son's room.
"Are you asleep, son?" asked the father. "No, Daddy. Why?" replied the boy, partially asleep. "Here's the money you asked for earlier," the father said. "Thanks, Daddy!" rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money.
"Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!" the boy said to his father, who was gazing at his son, confused at what his son had just said. "Daddy, could you sell me one hour of your time?"
My hope and goal is that you have an exciting and rewarding 2017 and that we can all invest some time with our children and families. After all, isn’t that really what it’s all about?
All my best to you and your family in 2017 and as always, thank you for all you do for all our Sauk Centre students!