I, like many of you I am sure, have been watching with great interest as South Africa has celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela. On Tuesday, I was overwhelmed by the thought that this one man’s life and the story of one country has resonated with the world. On a global scale, the power of this story has moved over 100 world leaders to sit in one stadium with honor and respect.

I am so moved by this global connectiveness to a story that I grew up watching. I remember the moments I learned about South Africa as a kid. I remember how it impacted me then.  As I grew older, I built deeper meaning in what was happening half the world away. I watched with interest the news.  I remember standing in amazement at the transformation made in a country. And again, yesterday I am reflective as I listen to the celebration of one man’s role in a country.

We might not all be meant for being such movers and change agents in the world. But when I reflect on the work that we choose to do each day with children at Joyner, I want our community to know and understand that they do have power in their actions. The actions of our children interacting with each other are essential in growing as a community. We are a community that interacts and relates and connects. We all can grow in our ability to do this and create a place for all to succeed.

I am inspired anew by Mr. Mandela. I appreciate the words and movement he made in his life. And I am thankful for those role models close to home that inspire me daily. I am thankful for teachers who listen and guide. I am thankful for parents who respond and support. I am thankful for children who often can model for us all how we can work and play together.

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