School year off to good start

Blake Gardner

This week is the final week of the first quarter, and I have been extremely proud of our students, staff and stakeholders. There has been a lot of noise surrounding public education this year, but the people in our school have stayed focused. It has been a blessing to serve as your superintendent as we implement a common-sense plan for educating our kids during a global pandemic. It has not always been easy, but I think it has created solidarity and unity amongst us. I am grateful for each day we are in school with our students and I hope you feel that way also. At the time of submission for this article our district has only had three student cases (all are fully recovered) and two adult cases (one recovered and one in quarantine). I am very pleased with those numbers through eight weeks of school!

It is easy to become overwhelmed by watching the news and checking the COVID statistics every day. I experienced that fatigue, stress and anxiety before I had a moment of clarity. The biggest thing for us to focus on is “controlling the controllables.” There are so many things we are not able to control; I hope you are all able to focus on the things you can control: your attitude, your effort and how you treat those around you.

Patrons have asked me, “How is the school year going?” This is my 15th year in Hill City and 11th as an administrator, and I honestly believe it is one of our best starts. Our school family is not taking any days for granted. I have experienced an attitude of gratitude, because we know how lucky we are to be in session. I ask that everyone continues to work together, stay calm, wash your hands, wear a mask if you can’t social distance and keep our school in session.

Our school and community has a lot to celebrate. Our girls cross country team was Black Hills Conference Champs and our volleyball team is ranked number two in South Dakota with a 17-1 record. Our middle school football and “A” volleyball team are undefeated. In the fine arts, the cast has been set for a play called “A Simpler Time” and our band and choir sound amazing. In the classroom, our students and teachers have lived up to the expectations of the number one school in South Dakota.

Thank you for your continued support and for making this first quarter of school amazing! We are all on the same team with the same goal: the best education for our kids!

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