Friday , 23 February 2018
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Spring is here. I love the renewal of life that is evident during the spring season. Spring always gives me a boost of energy and enthusiasm. The warmer weather, the beautiful flowers and trees, the seemingly reemergence from bunkers of warmth for animals and people alike, each of these renew my spirit.grain-664740_1280

For educators, spring is an important benchmark. It signals the home stretch for the school year. For us, working with children and young adults is very similar to the work that farmers are doing this time of year. A farmer knows that the yield of their crop is directly aligned to the amount of care and attention they give to preparing, nurturing, and feeding the soil. The seeds that the farmer plants will only grow so much if the proper attention isn’t given to them. Planning is important. A farmer knows that he or she must strategically plant based upon water access, access to sunlight, and the potential of the soil. Even if the soil has yielded great crops in the past, the farmer knows that sometimes the soil needs change, or the crops will become less fruitful. Nourishment for the crops varies by season and by type of crop.

With our students, you have planted seeds. You’ve introduced them to ideas, cultures, concepts, and possibilities. Throughout the year you’ve nurtured those seeds of excitement and possibilities. You’ve given attention to the details for each child to make sure they didn’t get caught in the weeds or overshadowed by others.

tulips-175600_1280Unlike farmers, our yields are not just for a season. A farmer knows within a season how well the fruits of their labor turned out. The farmer can see the immediate results of his or her hard work. The seeds you plant, and continue to plant will grow for many years to come. Some of my own life triumphs are due to the nurturing and “weeding” caring adults provided me. You are fostering growth and potential in students that you’ll see yields from immediately. There are also amazing results that won’t manifest themselves for years. You should be no less proud. Our students are going to be prepared to shine because of the work you do every day. Like a farmer, you should find great satisfaction and joy in knowing the work you do provides for so many.

As you enjoy this spring season, be reminded that your work does not go unnoticed. Not only are the flowers and trees blooming. I see young students’ confidence and abilities blooming due to your love and direction.

About David Stegall

Dr. David Stegall is the Superintendent for Newton-Conover City Schools. He previously served Newton-Conover as the Associate Superintendent, and previous to that as the Director of Elementary Curriculum, ESL (English as a second language) and AIG (academically and intellectually gifted). In February, 2012 he was named the Outstanding Young Educator for North Carolina by NCASCD and was a National Finalist for the ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award. In 2016 Dr. Stegall was named a National Superintendent to Watch by NSPRA. In 2017 Dr. Stegall was named North Carolina Region 7 Superintendent of the Year. He has presented at the state, national and international levels on professional learning communities and teacher empowerment. Dr. Stegall received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; a master's degree in education from Gardner-Webb University; an education specialist degree in education administration from Appalachian State University; and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from ASU.

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