A Time for Reflection
November is one of those months that if you blink too fast it is over before you know it. As chief school administrators, we know this all too well from our years in education. But in the midst of a busier than usual month is one of my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving is the holiday that symbolizes a time for reflection, appreciation, giving, family, and friends. It is an opportunity for us to come together, share, and enjoy each other’s company. Friends and family, from near and far, take time at Thanksgiving to share a meal together.
It’s this opportunity to come together for a meal that I think brings back great memories of the past and how important it is to spend time with those who are most important in our lives. The Thanksgiving holiday provides many opportunities to express our gratitude over a long weekend. My hope is that those feelings of gratitude can and should extend throughout the year. The best example of this is what President John F. Kennedy said in his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1963, “As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
In our role as chief school administrators, we are all grateful for so many things in our professional lives and express that gratitude not only in words but also by the way we go about our interactions with those around us, just as President Kennedy said in his speech. In the spirit of his quote, and as I have discussed at our Executive Committee meetings, I encourage you to continue to extend your gratitude with our NJASA colleagues as part of our ongoing focus on assisting each other in our roles and responsibilities as Chief School Administrators. There is much to be grateful for among our NJASA colleagues and it’s always great to express that gratitude to a peer throughout the year.
One example of that gratitude is to celebrate the hard work and success of our colleagues. I know you join me in congratulating our Regional Superintendents of the Year: Mackey Pendergrast, Chief Education Officer in Morris School District, David H. Trethaway, Chief Education Officer in Manchester Township School District, and David M. Aderhold, Chief Education Officer in West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District. I’d like to extend further congratulations to Mackey for being selected as the New Jersey Superintendent of the Year.
I wish you and your families an enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving break. I hope you get time to spend it with family and friends and get some well-deserved rest. Happy Thanksgiving!
Scott R. Rocco, Ed.D.
2019-2020 NJASA President