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Monday, January 27, 2014

Positive Messages to Our Children

Recently a friend dropped off a bag of Dove milk chocolate hearts. To say I was happy would be an understatement. Although I don’t need the chocolate, I thought I would sample some of the chocolate and share the rest. As I looked at the sample of chocolate hearts, I noticed each one had a message. While reviewing the messages, I found that they were focused on trying to make each one of us feel good. The messages of the candy I sampled had the following messages:

• “Go where your heart takes you.”
• “Discover how much your heart can hold.”
• “Celebrate family and friends.”
• “Be your own Valentine.”

In this world, which can be so harsh and cold, these heartfelt messages are intended to brighten our day. Although messages in candy seem trivial, the idea behind the “feel-good” messages is poignant. The children of our community need us to be loving, kind and positive as we interact with them.

At Columbia Schools our teachers and staff members go the extra mile to be positive with our students. Teachers focus on the strengths of our students and work to give them positive feedback. Our goal is to build up our students and give them the educational background to help enable a lifetime of success. Students in Columbia are recognized for positive behavior, academic success, and hard work. Teachers and administrators promote students with the Student of the Month awards, Honor Roll and good behavior recognition.

Students who are struggling are applauded by their teachers as they work to bring up their grades. Mentors in the Buddies Reading Program bring a positive impact and level of encouragement to young students as they work on their reading skills. As a member of our community you may play a positive part in the lives of our students. You may encourage area children by volunteering with the Girl or Boy Scouts, mentoring a child through the Buddies Reading Program, helping with a youth sports team, attending a concert or musical performance to support your neighborhood students or cheering on our Columbia School District athletes.

Join the members of the Columbia School District family and help promote the children of our community with something more substantial and long lasting than the messages in my candy. By building up our students through positive consequential interactions, we can make a difference in their lives. If you are interested in learning more about Columbia School District, call me at 517-592-6641 or email me at

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January is School Board Appreciation Month

January is School Board appreciation month. Our dedicated Columbia School District board members share a common goal to provide a positive learning environment for our children. With deep care and compassion our board members put in many hundreds of hours focusing on the well-being of each student. Their time is well spent attending extracurricular activities, attending professional development sessions, and volunteering at school community events. Continually advocating for children, they work diligently alongside parents and community members to set policy and create a vision to help our students experience educational success.

Education is very important in the history of the United States and the volunteer members of local school boards have been essential in the progress towards excellent learning environments for our children. Complex challenges and serious issues, along with financial ambiguities face our board members as they collaborate with community members and parents.

Our citizen school board leaders, President Robert Wahr, Vice-President Garry Applegate, Treasurer Mark Fish, Secretary Jodi Collins, Trustee Dan Fulara, Trustee Dave Slusher and Trustee Doug Schedeler, consistently rise to the occasion in their challenging duties with extraordinary dedication. Their concerted efforts are the key to establish policies that will prepare our children to become future leaders.

I congratulate the Columbia School District board members for their success in providing an excellent educational experience for all of our children. During this month of appreciation, join with me to applaud our school board members who provide enthusiastic support and caring for our students, teachers and administrators.

There are many ways in which you may express your gratitude and support for our school board members: Email them a note of appreciation, send them a letter of support, express your thanks in a phone call, or make a donation to your favorite school program in their name. Your positive feedback to these unselfish leaders will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in learning more about the Columbia School District, please contact me at or call 517-592-6641.