Greetings and welcome back! I was recently asked to write this blog post addressing what being a part of the Westonka community means to me. At first I thought this would be easy. I’m an English teacher so the ideas are supposed to tumble out of me perfectly polished, right? Well, as many of you know, that’s not how it works. I’ve been mulling it over this weekend trying to sum up my ideas in one catchy sentence that will grab your attention and leave you waiting on pins and needles for more. So, without further adieu, here you go . . .
I AM A WHITE HAWK! Now, I know some of you might be disappointed. You’re thinking, really, that’s it, that’s all the insight you’ve learned in fourteen years at MWHS? Well, when you think about it, it’s a pretty profound statement. I’ve been here almost my entire adult life and have shared some of my most joyous moments with fellow White Hawks. I planned how to propose to my wife with a group of seniors 12 years ago (we did good work; she said yes). I finished my Master’s in Education with my AP English class by my side. I received the call that both of my kids were about to be born while sitting in classes with cheering students wishing me good luck. I’ve had some of the best discussions I’ve had in my whole life here at MWHS and I’ve laughed harder than I ever thought possible. I’ve met hundreds of White Hawks when they were small eighth graders and proudly watched them walk, adult-sized across the stage at graduation five years later.
Life is sometimes rough though, and I have been lifted up by other White Hawks during difficult times. Together we have watched building collapse in New York, boots hit the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, and water pour into New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. My fellow White Hawks have always helped me make sense of it all. They were also there for my toughest moment ever. Three years ago I missed almost the whole school year when I found out my son was sick with cancer. I received hundreds of White Hawk messages during that dark time. I was humbled by the support and encouragement. In the end, I learned that when the chips are down, I’m sticking with the White Hawks because they have my back.
So, there it is: I am a White Hawk. I am a part of something bigger than myself. I am part of a community. I am ready for the laughs, discussions, drama, and the craziness of school. I hope you’re ready too. Have a great year.