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The Best Gifts

From the Superintendent's Standpoint

By Travis Miller

The Best Gifts

As we near Christmas break I cannot help but think about how blessed we are to live in Bayard, Nebraska.  In a world that seems to rush to judgment without all of the facts, people in our school community use common sense, take time to share concerns honestly with one another, and provide respectful resolution to differences.  Additionally, we are able to focus on what is really important and work together well for the good of our community and our families.  It takes a team approach to operate successful communities, and I feel very blessed to be a part of the Bayard School Community.  Life as a small community is a gift in many ways. 

I would like to share my thoughts about the gifts that have been given thus far during the school year in regards to the work done at our schools.

Our students give the gift of enthusiasm for learning, and a “can do” attitude.  We are blessed to have so many dedicated students in all grade levels that come to school excited to learn.  Their gift to our community is a promise of a bright future as these young men and women work toward becoming future leaders. 

The teachers in our school give the gift of their subject and learning expertise to their students.  Our teachers spend countless hours working to give the gift of feedback to students as part of the teaching and learning process, along with the gift of patience. 

Our custodial and maintenance staff members provide the gift of a clean and safe learning environment for our students.  This gift supports learning as students and staff can enjoy coming to work in a positive and effective learning environment.

Our transportation and bus staff members give the gift of safe and timely transport to and from school.  Our bus drivers are the first faces our students see in the morning and the last faces they see in the evening.  They provide the gift of a welcoming face to begin each day for our students. 

Our para-educators give the gift of patience and time in helping students to work through problems and to effectively learn given all of the challenges that our students face.  The para-educators give the gift of hope and progress to our students through their persistent work with our students.

Our cafeteria staff members give the gift of nutritious meals to our students and staff members.  When our bodies have proper nutrition, our brains are more effective.  The cafeteria staff also give the gift of a friendly face during the middle of the day as our students proceed through the lunch line.

Our school nurse gives the gift of a healthy learning environment and quality care for staff and students.  By working with students and staff, our nurse increases learning by promoting quality heath practices to increase attendance, reduce illness, and provide conditions to support health and learning.

Our school secretarial staff members give the gift of effective communication in support of teaching and learning.  Our secretarial team gives the gift of support to students, teachers, administrators, and other staff members so the process of teaching and learning can happen with minimal interruptions and maximum efficiency. 

Our administrative team gives the gift of time, oversight, and commitment to putting students and student learning at the forefront of our efforts as a school team.  Their gift is to support teaching and learning and improvement of our school along with the rest of the school community.

Our board of education provides the gift of their volunteer service to our school community.  Their gifts include governance, provision of resources, and establishment of a positive overall direction in support of quality teaching and learning.  Their gift of leadership promotes quality learning within our school. 

Parents of our students provide the gift of time, support, and commitment to helping their children develop as effective students.  This includes the gift of supervision, guidance, and instruction to their children as our students’ first teachers.  Our parents also give the gift of communication with teachers to advocate for their students’ learning needs and the gift of commitment and follow-through at home to support learning.

The Bayard Tiger Association and Booster Club members have provided the gift of their time, treasures, and talents to support and promote learning and activities in our schools.  The Booster Club provides resources to supplement many of the programs in our schools and the Bayard Tiger Association has worked to promoted increased family involvement and the promotion of literacy.   

Finally, community members provide the gifts of both financial and intangible support.  Employees of Valley Bank recently gave a gift of financial resources to support our most needy students.  Area beef producers have given, or committed to giving, donations of locally produced beef for our lunch program.  Community members attend and support a variety of student activities including athletic contests and music performances.  In many, many ways, members of our community provide the gift of support to our school, our staff, and our students. 

I would like to wish all of the members of our community a Merry Christmas.  I hope that all of our students have the opportunity to be both blessed and grateful for the many gifts that are given, both during the holiday season and throughout the year. 

As always, if you would like to share success stories about Bayard Public Schools or if you have ideas about how we can work together to make our school even better, please call the school or send me an email.