The premise of the book is how we treat one another matters. Our students really got into the project, and at our elementary buildings, they found ways to spread kindness throughout the community. You will see some of their work and kind deeds throughout this calendar as we share with you -"We Are Madison -A Community of Kindness!"
As I start my 17th school year in Madison, I see that kindness in action every day in our schools and throughout the community. Whether it is students cheering on one another in a first grade checkers tournament to community members rallying together for a family in need, the Madison community comes together and supports one another in a very special way. While there are moments in every community when people disagree, when it matters most we pull together. We want in our students these behaviors. We want them to reach out to one another and respect each other. We want our students to learn to disagree without putting another person down. We want them to be kind to one another always.
In schools today, we are often moving at a very fast pace. When we stop to reflect on what matters most, we reflect on the actions of others. The moments for me that matter most are those where our students celebrate one another. Some examples of our students celebrating each other are the annual Project Unify Basketball game with our special needs students, our band and football team performing the alma mater at the end of the game, a student helping another on a snowy day. Kindness in our students is evident throughout the district in so many ways. However, my favorite example from this past year comes from our littlest students at our Pre-K. A new student entered a classroom. She had been hesitant about her new surroundings. The students in the classroom were having a dance-off. They immediately, without prompting or hesitation, welcomed her into their dance-off and the little girl beamed! Those little acts of kindness truly matter the most.
Please share with me your stories of kindness throughout the year. We will post them on our website and share them on our social media pages.
Finally, as I end my letter, I want to take this one last opportunity to thank retiring North Elementary Principal, Sally Rogus for her 51 years of service to the Madison Local Schools. Her mantra her entire career emphasizes kindness-"Do you see me? Do you care about me?" Every day, Mrs. Rogus came into school determined to make a difference. For each of us in the Madison community, the best way to honor her legacy is to make a difference in the life of a child.
Yours in Education
Angela M. Smith, Superintendent