What an incredible start to our school year! I am always struck by the inches that a child can grow over the summer. Perhaps some of those inches come from the confidence of a new grade level or the new haircuts or the outdoor activity. All the same, I love celebrating that growth our kids have over summertime.  And as I welcome our newest Kindergarten students this week, I think of the years we will all have together to watch them grow too.

As every year, I begin in our fifth grade classrooms. I set my expectations of their leadership role at Joyner. I tell them that they lead the way in how we treat each other. I remind them of how they have looked to the former fifth graders for how to hold the door open for someone younger, how to help a new student, how to show the rest of our students how to be a part of the Joyner Family.

This year, Ms. Childress, our new Assistant Principal, came with me to meet these leaders. We asked each class what are some things that she should know immediately about Joyner. My eyes quickly began to tear as I listened to these new leaders express their love of their school. They talked specifically of how we are a family and care for each other. They talked about their teachers with incredible respect. On the first day of school when I have many “goose bump moments”, these topped the cake! And I have to say how grateful I am to our parents and families who have taught their children to express so openly their gratitude and care.

I am looking forward to this year. I am grateful of the commitment that our staff gives to all of our students. We have been preparing for these first days with the same excitement as each child does. And I am thankful to have the opportunity to continue to work together with our families and staff in this amazing place called Joyner.