WORDS FROM THE SUP’T: Big Wins for Clarkston kids

If you read The Clarkston News (which clearly, you do!) or scan social media, you’ve probably noticed that many Clarkston Community Schools students are making names for themselves at the state and national level through their extraordinary accomplishments.
We love seeing our students chase their dreams and we’re proud of their success!
We also realize that for most of our students, success comes in smaller, sometimes less noticeable ways everyday.
It can become easy for kids to compare themselves with others and wonder how they measure up.
It seems everyone is earning a scholarship, everyone is singing at Carnegie Hall with the choir, everyone is winning a state championship, everyone is competing in a national or global competition, everyone is winning.
But we must remind our kids that if everyone was winning all day, everyday, these accomplishments wouldn’t be “extraordinary.”
The reason the big wins make the news is because these milestone moments don’t happen everyday, and they don’t happen to everyone. (I’m fairly certain I’ll never step foot on the Carnegie Hall stage in my lifetime, and I am OK with that.)
Wherever our children are in their lives right now, it’s OK.
Failures are opportunities for growth.
Triumphs, even the small ones, are worth noticing and celebrating.
I wish I could high-five every student who did something they’re proud of today. I can’t, but I’ve got help.
I want you to know that my conversations with the faculty and staff at Clarkston Community Schools always center on making connections, and seeing the “invisible” kids.
Relationships are critical if we want to impress upon our students that their victories and struggles are worthwhile, and that their very existence is worthwhile.
Before last week’s Spring Break, I encouraged families to use the time away from school to be with one another: to tuck away the devices, start a conversation, ask kids about their lives.
If you’ve got a child in your life, I hope you’ll take a few minutes today to ask them what makes them proud, worried, excited or sad.
My 22 years in education (and almost as many years of being a dad) guarantee you’ll see something new about that child, and he or she will see that you care.
And that’s a big win.
By Shawn Ryan, Interim Superintendent of Clarkston Community Schools

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