THE PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE - Darren Danyluk


Dec 11, 2020 Message to Members

In your own words...

This is my last eNews entry for 2020.  I started to write this week’s message several times and trashed each draft. Each time, my words felt trite and hollow. Wishing everyone ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Best of the Season’ feels a little flat in the week when restrictions for gathering have been extended well into the new year.   

The extension of the Order has deflated many this week. In the words of one of our members: My light is extinguished. I went home and unplugged all my lights.  

I do not believe that a simple wish for happy holidays offers enough hope. We need inspiration.    

I have shared before that my wife inspired me to get more active although I’m not an athlete.  I’ve taken up some running and have been a regular at a local gym. And when I’m running or exercising, I find myself looking forward to the end. The best part of the run or the workout is when it is over!    

At the beginning, I visualize the end and parcel out my energy to get me there. I pace. I keep my mind focused. I will notice the gripe from my knee or ankle, but I pack it away to attend to when I’m done. You steel your mind, and you keep going.    

Yet when I’m nearing the end, as I approach the last kilometre or count down the remaining minutes, the tank feels empty. That painful knee is harder to ignore; fatigue is setting in; my confidence is lagging, and I feel doubt. I find the last stretch to be the hardest part, and I want to stop … but I don’t. And I have my wife to thank for that.   

In 2016, we drove across the country to visit family in Newfoundland. On the way, my wife ran the equivalent of a marathon in each province. In two weeks, as we drove, she ran eight marathons. A number of these were back-to-back: you do the math. Her inspiration? A modest boy named Terry. And in this week – at a time when we may be just hanging on and crossing the days off the calendar – a Kamloops Principal shared that his school community has adopted a ‘Terry Fox mindset’, running from one telephone pole to the next, one at a time.    

Let me join his words to your own words, in a chorus of inspiration:  

… may have been the first school this year, but we will not be the last… All in all we did okay.
… reach out and let us know how we can be of service.
I am quite blessed to be here.
Our district has been fabulous! 
So many folks have reached out, and I certainly do not feel alone!
It’s not a picnic, but I feel solid through it … good teamwork here.
It’s been a stressful few days, but I know that support is a phone call away. … the staff has been tremendous as well.
I am happy to report that we are all hangin’ in, still smiling and still coming together as a team.
 The District team was awesome as was my entire community.
I can’t begin to tell you how supported I feel. I’m so lucky.
… it means a lot that we work with a group of supportive, caring people. … in the midst of all this … generally I'm staying positive.
I am proud to be a Principal …
Everyone involved has been absolutely amazing through this.
… life here goes on, embracing the joy of getting together.
… we are weathering the storm this week recognizing only time will move us forward. I am hopeful this pandemic will pass soon.   
 

Come 2021, schools will welcome back students and begin once more. I trust we will continue to find our inspiration in each other.  

I will close with one final quote to bookend this entry with the same voice I shared at the beginning: I plugged the tree back in tonight … We will get through this Thing!    

I wish you peace in the last days of 2020.  

Keep well and safe.