Giving thanks

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At this time of Thanksgiving, itís always a good time to step back and look at what we are grateful for.

I am especially honored to work with the many talented education professionals that serve our students in Whitefish Schools. The caring that our staff displays to our students each day is exemplary, and there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes than anyone in the general public is aware of.

The planning and time our teachers spend beyond the classroom is staggering. The public perception is often that teaching is an easy job; they have vacation breaks and summers off. The school day ends early. The reality is that our teachers put in so many after-hours and weekend time, planning and working for the betterment of our students.

What happens in the classroom is a careful dance. It doesnít just materialize by the seat of the pants. Our teachers bring careful planning and dedication to the classroom every day, as well the emotional impacts of caring so much for these children.

Teaching is a job you take home with you, because teachers bring with them all the challenges their students are facing. Many of the students bring with them experiences that are impacting their ability to be successful in school. Our teachers love these children and it has an emotional impact because they want to help them all so much.

I see teachers buying Halloween costumes and prom dresses out of their own pockets for students who donít have the means. Beyond the core teaching, they care so deeply for these students. Parents send us the best they have every single day and our teachers carry those students with the same full heart.

Over the last 18 months, my own personal family situation has changed significantly, in a direction that my husband and I never anticipated. After much reflection, I have made the difficult decision that my current contract, which expires June 30, 2021, will be my final contract with Whitefish Schools. Coming to this decision is difficult because of how much I care about all of our students, teachers, support staff, administrators, families, and the community of Whitefish.

Because of my family situation, I will be seeking employment outside the community of Whitefish. Should an employment offer be made to me before my current contract expires, Iím hopeful the Board will consider releasing me from my current contract. I am hopeful for the support of the schools and community as I look at this transition.

Each day, I fulfill my leadership role and job duties with great pride, integrity, and a belief in all children. I truly believe in the ability of every child to meet and exceed high expectations for learning and I commit myself to this belief with everything that I do. All children deserve to be treated with dignity, while also receiving a rigorous, quality education that prepares them for college, career, and engagement in our global society.

When caring teachers, support staff, administrators, parents, families, peers, and the community come together, support one another, and help each student develop confidence and a growth mindset, we ensure the success of every child and the success of our whole community. I will continue to fulfill my full responsibilities through the remainder of my time in Whitefish Schools with these values as my foundation.

Thank you for your dedication to our schools. The commitment of the Whitefish community and engagement in our public schools are a reflection of this amazing town.

Hereís wishing you and your families a happy Thanksgiving.

Heather Davis Schmidt is the Superintendent of Whitefish Schools.

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