A Pandemic Thanksgiving

Posted on: Tue, 11/24/2020 - 08:00

As we watch the world and our communities grapple with COVID-19, it may dampen our spirit of appreciation or it may cause us to reflect on the many things we take for granted and for which we can be grateful. I prefer the latter.

While many Thanksgiving plans are being changed due to the pandemic, there is one tradition that can easily continue—taking time to reflect on the blessings in your life and to share your gratitude with those people who have made a difference in your life. This blog is my attempt to share my gratitude with those who have given so much to Frederick County Public Schools this year.

Cabinet Members Since March, these senior leaders have been my constant companions in navigating this crisis. I have watched their relentless efforts to lead and inspire staff, students, and the community. They learned quickly and stayed up to date on the latest research and guidance provided by experts. They rethought every single process to ensure our school system could operate successfully. They answered every email or phone call. They stayed “one step ahead” while dealing with the immediate needs of those we serve. They improved plans, processes, communication, and anything else that we knew we needed to change for the better. They made hard decisions with compassion. They worked endless hours without complaint. They picked each other up when spirits were down. They were and are an amazing team that I trust and rely on daily. I appreciate all of you.

FCPS Employees Regardless of the position in our school system, I observed FCPS staff demonstrate a commitment to do whatever was needed to ensure FCPS could achieve our mission. Every single employee had to learn something new in order to do their job during the pandemic, whether it was new safety protocols or the latest technology to meet virtually. I am proud of their professional growth. Change is hard, and it came fast, yet our employees never wavered. They worked tirelessly to address the challenges. They prevailed. They make me #FCPSProud every day. I appreciate all of you.

Board of Education Members The decisions faced by our elected Board of Education members are unlike any decision required during my tenure as Superintendent. The volume of email messages significantly increased during the pandemic. The divisiveness experienced in our country during this pandemic was evident in our community as well. These 7 people took their oath to serve seriously and gave their best effort. I appreciate all of you.

FCPS Students and Community Any success achieved during this pandemic is shared by our students and community. Partnership was and continues to be essential during this crisis. There have been significant sacrifices made to support virtual education. The uncertainty of the pandemic and the impact of changes in all facets of life are stressful. I commend the efforts of our students and community to work with us to make the best of the circumstances we faced and continue to navigate. I appreciate all of you.

I wish everyone in the FCPS community a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving!

A special note…Dian Nelson has served FCPS as an integral part of the communications team. She has graciously edited all of these blogs and crafted countless messages for our FCPS community. I wish her well in retirement and will miss her guidance and support.