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The summer of 2023 brought some exciting changes to HBR Elementary School. We hired nine (9!!!) new teachers and 8 new paraprofessionals! Various reasons contributed to this, such as retirement, leaving the field of education, new roles within HBR, and the need for childcare. These openings allowed us to rebuild our team in great ways. But it was not without some very hard work--such as reading applications, interviewing candidates, and answering many questions. On one particularly hot July day, Mrs. Claypool (3rd-grade teacher) and Mrs. Wassmann (school social worker) shared something with me that made a huge impact on my mindset. And of all things-it has to do with sports! 

We likely all know that the 2016 Chicago Cubs won 103 games to become the World Series Champions. And I bet we all remember where we were that night, after the rain delay, when Kris Bryant threw the ball to Tony Rizzo for the last out. But what led up to this championship is what caught my attention. Theo Epstein had become the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs. He almost immediately started making what experts describe as “impact moves” to create a World Series caliber roster. Whether it was through the draft, free agency, or trade, Epstein signed 24 of the 25 rostered players for the 2016 World Series. Now THAT is a very new team! And one that came together strategically to bring about greatness. As Mrs. Claypool & Mrs. Wassmann shared this fun fact about the Cubs, I knew immediately that we needed to tie this in with our own very new HBRES team. Each of our new team members are like “impact moves” that strategically joined the HBRES team to bring about greatness. 

Change can be overwhelming, especially when there is a lot at once. But sometimes those changes are necessary to happen in order for the greatest things to come to fruition. And changes eventually lead to celebrations. To kick off our 23-24 school year, we did just that- we celebrated our new team. Each staff member received their very own trading card- picture, position, and all- and we played a team-building game to create our “baseball teams.” This activity was so impactful for our staff, our team. We felt connected, we felt valued, and we felt ready for new challenges. We might not be going for a World Series Championship, but each one of us has such a strong desire to show up each day with positivity, energy, and enthusiasm. We want to be a team that makes our own huge “impact moves” for our students. We want to help them achieve their own greatness, whether it be in reading, math, or emotional regulation. We are so grateful to our HBR families that share their children with us, and we are all so excited for this school year and our own style of winning the championship. Now.... 

Let’s play ball!