By Dr. Lane Abrell
Superintendent of Schools
Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202
Coming off our first snowstorm of the season, I cannot help but think about Christmas.
We have survived another year of “Black Friday” and “Small Business Saturday” and “Cyber Monday” holiday shopping. According to the media, the economy seems to be picking up based on those early indicators. There are still a few shopping weeks left – and many people will use every second of that time to find the “perfect” gift.
Some people will wrestle and debate if the gift is the right size or color, or if it has the newest techno bells and whistles. Some will simply give cash or gift cards and leave the actual choosing to the person getting the gift. Of course, no matter what the gift looks like, the most important concern is that it should have value both now and in the future.
With that in mind, I contend that District 202 offers the “perfect gift” every day to our students: a great education for every child in our schools. There is never any question whether a great education will fit or be used beyond Christmas morning. There’s never any need to buy extra batteries. A great education works every day, all the time.
A great education helps build, challenge and maintain a student’s creativity. It equips students with a toolbox full of the skills and knowledge needed to build a better future for themselves, their families and the community.
Yet, like most gifts, this one does not come free. We pay for this gift together, as a community through our taxes, which in turn pay for the schools, teachers, support staff and administration needed to provide and run excellent educational systems.
Families also play a direct role in this “gift exchange” by ensuring that their children attend school regularly. Families also help give education a real, lasting value by teaching and modeling a lifelong love of learning. Without this love, the gift of education won’t have much value at all.
For our part, District 202 promises to do its best to make sure all of our students benefit from the gift of education. Our teachers, support staff and administration work very hard to help students learn, grow and succeed despite the many “lumps of coal” that we get each year: shaky state funding, political challenges, shifting learning standards, ever-increasing testing and rising professional demands.
Still, we believe that a strong, vibrant education, taught by talented and dedicated professionals, provided by a community fully invested in its children and supported by loving families will always be a gift worth giving.
We look forward to continuing to work together with our students, staff and families to make sure that the education students get in District 202 will always be the “gift that keeps on giving.”
Together, we will continue to prepare learners for the future. Happy holidays.