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Like many of you reading this post, I have become more and more reliant on the notes in my calendar to ensure that I get everything done. As I review my November calendar, I am struck by some valuable reminders of the importance of gratitude. 

This past week held one reminder, Veterans Day. On November 11th, we had the privilege of welcoming local veterans into the high school for our annual Veterans Day Assembly. We took the opportunity to express our gratitude and honor them for their service. We also lined the entrance of the high school with 236 flags recognizing specific veterans whose names had been submitted by students, families, and staff. 

In the upcoming week there is another important reminder. We will take some time away from school to celebrate Thanksgiving. 

As I reflect on this theme of thankfulness, I am very grateful for the staff of HBRHS. There is so much that goes into creating a great student experience in high school. Our students participation in Homecoming and other traditions. Their involvement in clubs, athletics, leadership retreats, game nights, and dances. Opportunities to learn outside of the classroom through class field trips, college visits, and events organized by all of the various acronym groups: FEA, FFA, NHS, SOS, and so on. All of these events and opportunities help shape a more complete high school experience for our students. One that extends beyond the classroom and teaches important lessons or facilitates connections and just having fun together. None of these experiences are possible without the efforts of our high school staff. They go above and beyond to make these opportunities a reality for our students and to continuously consider how we could make them even better. All of this while also doing the work that is the core of the high school experience…teaching and learning. 

To highlight one aspect of this work, this year our central focus in the classroom is on improving student learning through effective feedback and student support. Students need to know where they are now in their learning, where they need to be, and how to get there. Students receive this information through feedback. After learning more about effective feedback, the instructional staff are implementing new approaches in the classroom and evaluating the impact of these changes over the course of the semester. This work is in addition to all of the other ways that they are seeking to improve student learning in their classrooms and to support individual students. 

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the staff of HBRHS. I am proud to be a part of this team as we do our best each day to serve our students and community and as we continually seek to improve. 

Please join me in expressing our gratitude by sending a quick “thank you” email to one of our staff members (the support staff as well as our teachers). The list of their names and email addresses can be found on the high school website here. If you have students in the elementary or middle schools you can find staff lists here and here. This simple note of thanks will go a long way in brightening someone’s day as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.