I don’t even know where to begin with all the thank yous I need to give!
First of all, Odyssey of the Mind is an enrichment opportunity which benefits our gifted and creative learners. The widespread support shown by our staff for Odyssey of the Mind at last Saturday’s regional competition is further evidence of their desire to support gifted learning beyond the classroom. If you checked in a team on Saturday, you no doubt witnessed Mr. Palermo, Mrs. Ehrenzeller, Ms. Allan, and Mrs. Smith giving up part of their Saturday to help out. Mrs. Kelly spent her entire day running scores back and forth from the problem sites to the score room. You probably didn’t see her, but Mrs. Skomra took care of the food room for the judges from behind the scenes, and Mrs. Kraft and Ms. Mueller greeted teams as they headed up to the Spontaneous Problem site.
Also, thank you to the many teachers and administrators who helped with TJ’s first ever Math Kangaroo event last night. Math Kangaroo had 6,000,000 participants from 60 different countries compete in yesterday’s testing. Here at TJ we did our part by supplying 80 of those participants. It was truly a case of “it takes a village” last night. Math Kangaroo simply wouldn’t have happened without the help of my colleagues. So, thank you to Mrs. Harbison, Mrs. Kravinsky, and Mrs. Maloney for checking-in students and getting the whole shebang off to a quick start! Thank you, as well, to Mr. Wyman, Ms. Williams, Mrs. Seaver, and Mrs. Zang for helping students find their testing sites and escorting them back to their parents as testing was completed. And a huge thank you to Mr. Palermo, Mrs. Kelly, Ms. Allan, Mrs. Skomra, Mrs. O’Neil, Mrs. Custer, and Mrs. Stillwagoner for monitoring students as they completed the Math Kangaroo challenge problems.
Finally, I’d like to thank all of TJ’s ACE parents. You have served as OM judges, coached OM teams, shuffled kids back and forth for months to attend meetings, taken time out of a busy spring evening to bring your kids to school for a bit of math, prepared your kids for the Word Masters Challenge, and served on the Gifted Advisory Committee. And it is you who have worked hard to advocate for additional gifted staff here at TJ. After many years of the ACE population growing and services decreasing the School Board has opted to add a half time GT position to the TJ staff for next year. I’m not sure how the extra part time position will fare in the budget process, but it’s incredibly heartening to know that there are so many who see the need for such a position and are willing to take the time from an already jampacked life in order to communicate this message to the School Board.