Oh, the Places You’ll Go

The end of the school year is my favorite time of the year. Not because school is ending and summer is near, but it allows for our students to celebrate their accomplishments. Our returning students prepare for their next step and our graduates begin a whole new path. It allows our staff to reflect on their year. Schools are organizations of continuous improvement. Summer is a critical time for that cycle. Our staff analyzes information, attends professional development, and works on their craft. The summer allows our transportation, food services, and custodial teams to complete large scale projects to better serve our schools. The end of the school year is always busy, but it is tremendously exciting. 

For me, it reminds me of the famous Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”. This book recharges me for multiple reasons. First, it is a simple read and I am a simple mind:-) Second, it focuses on hope. Schools are in the hope business. Our aspirational mission is to provide hope to the people we serve. The end of the school year provides us the opportunity to see where we are going next. 

My favorite part of the story is quoted below. It focuses on adversity leading into the development of a hopeful mindset. 

“You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers

who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.

You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so

but, sadly, it’s true

that Bang-ups

and Hang-ups

can happen to you.”

Adversity is part of hope. With hope for a brighter future, we can withstand setbacks regardless of how big or small. This year, the end of the school year did not go as scripted. Our graduates and underclassmen did not get the ending they envisioned. Our teachers did not get to celebrate student accomplishments with each other. Our school community did not get to send off our staff celebrating a successful school year as we would have liked. We have uncertainties in the short and long term including what school will look like in 2020 – 2021, financial uncertainty, and societal shifts. Each of these issues alone could impact our mindset if we allow them too. However, our school community did not let these challenges define us. We continued to face adversity with positivity, compassion, and care. We invested in hope. 

As we look forward to the places we’ll go, we will remember the messages from Dr. Seuss. We will take steps together to confront the unknown. Our talents, care, compassion, and commitment will fuel our work. Together, as individuals and as a community we will move mountains.

  • Adham Schirg, Fairbanks Local Schools, Superintendent

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