Superintendent Press Release February 10, 2023
Dear Cedar Bluffs Families,
Time to Make the Donuts! – I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember that commercial that features a man getting up before dark and leaving his house to go to work at Dunkin Donuts and returning at night. It was 1984, the commercial goes on with him coming and going until he runs into himself. This past month has seemed like that commercial with games late at night, dark to bed, waking up and it’s still dark outside.
One of the qualities that my parents instilled in me was “hard work” and I try to help our students as I did my own kids develop this quality. Some people go through life and get lucky, the right job at the right time, the right opportunity while others toil for a lifetime. But for all of us, hard work and perseverance are the tenets of a successful life. A life fulfilled. I often tell the kids at school that I received an 18 on my ACT, which at the time was the lowest score you could achieve and still go to a four-year college. I didn’t. I ended up going to a community college, getting kicked out, then went to another community college where it took me 3 years to get a 2-year degree. Then finally decided to apply myself and over the next ten years as I worked fulltime; I was able to complete a Bachelor’s degree, 2 Masters degrees and a EdS. and am now one of 126 Superintendents in the State of Nebraska. It was hard work, perseverance, and an attitude that the only one, the only thing that can beat me, is myself, by quitting. I was raised on a ranch in Eastern Colorado, just south of Ogallala in the Sandhills of Colorful Colorado where building fence on the ranch was a daily occurrence. If any of you have every had to dig a post hole in sand, you understand that with every punch into the sand as you picked up the post hole diggers to take the sand out of the hole, half the sand runs out of the bottom. This is what builds persistence. Failure, trying again, failure, trying again.
Over my 30 years in Education, it is too often I have seen parents come to a child’s aid, defend a child if they get into trouble, make excuses for a child, or not allow their child to fail and allow them to absorb the consequences of their failure. I see it in athletics as well. Always the official’s fault, the coach’s fault, or the school’s not good enough. By not allowing our children to be accountable, we allow them to not get better, not improve and not succeed. I can almost always tell the students that will succeed in life because they always have parents who allow them to fail. Love them but hold them accountable and allow them the great opportunity to try again. I didn’t realize at the time that my parents were masters of this principle called, Love and Logic, even back in the 1980’s, before that became a thing. It’s the hardest thing in the world, to allow our children to fail but a necessary one.
The “Love” in Love and Logic means that we love our kids so much that we are willing to set and enforce limits. This “Love” also means that we do so with sincere compassion and empathy.
The “Logic” in Love and Logic happens when we allow children to make decisions, affordable mistakes and experience the natural or logical consequences. When we balance this with sincere empathy, they develop the following logic:
Our children learn that the quality of their lives depends on the quality of their choices.
Have a wonderful weekend!