School Year Off to Great Start
The sound of the cicadas are one of my favorite sounds in our beautiful town as the monsoons taper off and the green of summer has taken over the hills.
In my family, the sound of the cicadas has always been a signal. We’ve always joked with our boys, “They’re calling you out … calling you back to school!” So the cicadas have once again, called us back to kick off the school year.
It’s been a tremendous start. Every summer, we have crews working behind the scenes at a breakneck speed to miraculously complete every project, fix every locker, seal every tile floor, and so much more. PUSD replaced nearly $1 million in carpet this summer, thanks to the Prescott taxpayers’ generosity from the 2015 bond. Whether we were ready or not, around 4,000 kids came rolling through our doors on Aug. 3. I walked onto each campus carrying my summer preparation intensity, only to find a calm, cool, and professional feeling as the buildings filled with kids. It always amazes me, but the reality is that that the magic of teamwork takes place every year. These amazing teachers, principals, and support staffers make it happen every time. They are simply so good at what they do that when the bell rings, we have suddenly provided this atmosphere where kids feel safe and supported in the hands of a staff that is ready to make great learning happen.
On the first day of school, as I drove over to watch the buses take off from the bus barn, I realized it was the last first day of school for my own children. So I turned around and went home. I had to take a picture of them in front of the same pine tree in the front yard where we took their photos before they walked down to Lincoln School for the first day of kindergarten. Our twin boys, Jason and Jonah, are seniors. On that first day of school, this took me by surprise, and I was a bit of an emotional mess. Of course, when I asked them to stand in front of the pine tree, they rolled their eyes, because they are 17. And then they got in their cars and drove off to Prescott High School.
During this emotional reflection, I have seen a full circle with my own kids going through the Prescott Schools. Jenna and I made a decision over 20 years to leave Seattle to “come back home” to Prescott. We made that decision because we wanted our kids to grow up here in Prescott, and go to Prescott Schools. My plan was for these twin boys to be wrestlers. But the beauty of public school in PUSD offered so many options to try different things, that they found their own niche. They became passionate musicians. Last night, they both submitted several college applications and they are ready to fly off into the world. Their time in PUSD has been amazing.
So today I want to thank our community. I want to thank the amazing staff in PUSD for nurturing all of our children, preschool to graduation, and allowing them to head off into the world, prepared to make a difference that matters.