I stumbled upon an old poster from more than a decade ago during our front office changes over the summer. It was from a random principals’ organization, and it had word art in the center. The graphic contained challenging day-to-day tasks that administrators handle (e.g. fights in the hall, a leaky pipe in a bathroom, an accident in the car line, etc.). Then, the poster concluded with “No Sweat, I’m a principal.” The implication is that principals are so tough, none of that stuff fazes us.
I laughed out loud because I couldn't help but notice that it left out things like: helping distribute food after the most powerful storm in Louisiana’s proud history, measuring distances between kids to determine who goes home and who keeps learning, or shutting down the front office to get kids to call for a ride home after a bus driver work stoppage.
Honestly, as I stared at the poster of supposedly difficult problems, my first thought was, “Please, Lord! Can we have some of these OLD problems back?”
Fast forward to July 13, 2022. We had a meeting of various district personnel and campus administrators. At the end of the event, our superintendent, Melissa Stilley, talked briefly. The first thing she said, in reference to the daunting task that educators and families face in 2022, was simply, “We are in the fight of our lives.” When you consider that, for the first time in 3 years, we were able to see the faces of the children who walk onto our campus at the start of school, her statement seems spot on.
Also, I couldn’t help but chuckle nervously because it reminded me of that poster. At that moment, I realized that, even if we are blessed enough to get our “old” problems back this year, we will be contending with the aftermath of all our “new” problems for years to come.
The TPSS theme for the 2022-2023 school year, which is “One Team, One Purpose.” Let me take the lead by telling you all what my purpose is every time I come to Vinyard. I love doing things to help people be better at what they do. If you’re a teacher, I want to help you to be a better teacher. If you’re a parent, I want to help you to be a better parent. If you’re a student, I want to help you to be a better student.
To put it simply, my purpose is YOU!
It’s game time, team!
--Dr. Jason Lenz, Principal