The Beautiful Story of a D-Rated School

EDUCATION

 

Letter grades can’t possibly tell the whole story of a school. An inside look at the passionate work of a school our state says is a letter away from failing.

(Author’s note: this story was originally published in September 2015.)

A few weeks ago, my wife began her fifteenth year teaching elementary school music. She’s been in the same classroom and the same school for her entire career, and she’s seen thousands of kids come through her hallway.

She enjoys her job; she teaches every kid in the building, so she’s kind of like a local celebrity. We rarely can make it through the grocery store (or anywhere around town) without someone running up to her, hugging her leg, and running off with a smile. It’s a happy thing to see.

This week, though, her school received a North Carolina school performance grade of D. Continue reading “The Beautiful Story of a D-Rated School”

While I’m waiting for the computer to finish downloading software

DIARY

I am about three and a half months into the new job–14 weeks and going on 15, to be more precise–and April has been the busiest yet. The good news is that our office is running really well, and we’ve been notching a few big wins as we go. This week we wrapped up our employee giving campaign, and we hosted our spring donor event.

The spring donor event was decidedly different–we changed up a lot of things that had traditionally been done year after year: the menu, the decor, the music. Tradition is important, and I was admittedly a bit nervous about what might happen if we messed with it.

But our team of folks really came through. The food, handpicked by our event organizer, was by all accounts very good. (We used Langtree Catering and Events, and they really pulled it off.) The decor was a step away from the “fish fry” model we’ve used and leaned toward a more business banquet appearance. We used a college band to provide the music, and they had several inquiries about other gigs by the end of the night. We slightly improved the beer and wine offerings, and we included a 20-minute program in the middle of everything, which was well received. Continue reading “While I’m waiting for the computer to finish downloading software”

Before and After

FAITH

Facebook is like a party, only everyone’s invited.

Whenever Lent rolls around, I look for something I’ll miss and choose to give it up for awhile. There were always a handful of things I considered third rail Lent items, chiefly coffee (I drink two or three cups a day) and internet things, like Facebook.

My hesitation about giving up Facebook was rooted in hobbies like this one–writing for a blog. Publishing online, after all, requires one to have a well-sourced distribution network. Facebook is king. How could I give up the biggest readership group for forty days? (Irony duly noted.)

But this year, particularly after a political season that hounded my news feed like an abused dog, I felt more than ready to try the experiment. I changed my profile over to an ashen cross and turned the Big Blue F off.

I learned a few things along the way. Continue reading “Before and After”