Happy New Year! Best wishes are extended for a year full of joy, good health and success. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday break; it was wonderful to relax, recharge, unplug and catch up a little, especially with some sleep. I look forward to starting the new year with each of you within the Shepherd Hill community. The start of the new year is an opportunity to look back at what has been accomplished and more importantly, a time to look forward to the changes we want, or need, to make. I am not a big fan of resolutions but as you know I’m all about self-reflection that is purposeful and helpful to move forward.
So how can we make 2020 and the second half of our school year at Shepherd Hill incredible? Like last year, I’ve been re-reading a lot of books by Jon Gordon lately and his message and concept of—One Word. He describes how each year, rather than a resolution, he picks One Word for the New Year that inspires him to be his best. The One Word is a guidepost or reminder to keep the person on the right path throughout the year. All aspects of his life are filtered through this One Word he chooses.
Last year, if you remember, my one word was Re-Imagine. As I look back there were certainly times where I accomplished some of our goals as a school community through this lens looking at how we are evolving in the areas of our beliefs on how students and staff “learn” most powerfully as well as connecting “real world, relevant” experience within our curriculum. Expanding our Project Lead The Way curriculum in Biomedical Science and Engineering is a great example of this. Another area of focus that supports this evolution to “re-imagine” will be in the area of continuing to develop our Innovations Pathway programming at Shepherd Hill. Both of these areas align nicely with the focus around Commissioner Riley’s (DESE) initiatives, as well as a significant focus on several of Governor Baker's initiatives around STEM initiatives.
So I will continue the tradition of a similar challenge/message for our Shepherd Hill community for 2020 and the rest of our current school year. What would be your One Word—as an individual, family, peer group, class, etc.? What would be the One Word that would change your life? This could be a fun exercise and much more effective than a resolution; 9 out of 10 people will fail with their resolutions but One Word sticks. No goals, no resolutions just One Word that helps you write and create a yearly chapter in your life story. It can be powerful.
My One Word for 2020 will be Gratitude. I will use my one word as a guidepost throughout the year to keep my thinking on how we can continue to evolve as a school community to meet the needs of our students today and more importantly their preparation for tomorrow's world that we will be living in.