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Superintendent's column: Be thankful for things that truly matter

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
Nov. 23, 2013 at 5:23 a.m.

Robert Jaklich

With the Thanksgiving holidays approaching, it is a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on the many blessings we enjoy as individuals and as a school district. First and foremost, we are extremely grateful to all of our VISD family members for their commitment and dedication to providing our students with a future of hope and endless possibilities. Their focus on "Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day" allows us to be a positive force of change in the lives of our students and in our community.

We are genuinely indebted to the many employees who gave so generously to the 2013-14 VISD Education Foundation Giving Campaign. Through the generosity of these employees, our school district was able to raise more than $37,000 in gifts and pledges to benefit student scholarships and educational program grants developed by district educators. This is an all-time giving high since the fundraising campaign's inception five years ago. We are also extremely grateful for the efforts of the Victoria Business and Education Coalition in providing outstanding mentors and role models for our students. We truly appreciate these "Champions for Our Children" who not only serve the educational needs of our children but who also give of themselves through unselfish means to support the hopes and dreams of our students.

We are very thankful for our parent and community support. Through this partnership and by their belief in us, we will become the school district we aspire to be and enhance our "612 Square Miles of Excellence."

We would like to acknowledge our appreciation for the leadership that is provided by our outstanding Board of Trustees. Our seven board members serve as a guiding force to an exemplary education for all students and provide extensive opportunities for success. Their efforts and sound decisions continue to illuminate the path of excellence for the entire VISD, and we are truly grateful to them for providing each one of us the opportunity to pursue our dreams.

Abraham Lincoln once stated: "In the end, it is not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years." As we experience the Thanksgiving season, let us take a moment to reflect on our lives and the things that are most important to us. Brian Dyson, the former CEO of Coca-Cola, summarized it best when he stated: "Imagine life as a game in which you are required to keep five balls juggling in the air. Let's name these five balls work, family, health, friends and spirit. You soon realize that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce right back up. However, the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these balls, they will become irrevocably scuffed, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They may never be the same again." During this holiday season, let us take time to slow down and understand how this truly pertains to us. Let us take this time to revisit our family, our health, our friends, our spirit and our many blessings. Let us not take for granted the things that are closest to our heart because these are the things that make life meaningful. On behalf of the board of trustees and our entire school district, thank you for making us proud to be VISD and happy Thanksgiving.

Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website, visd.com.

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