COLUMN: Despite of obstacles, good things happening at Greenwood

Leon Ashlock

Greenwood Elementary continues to climb mountains this 2021-2022 school year. Students and staff continuously exercise perseverance, grace, flexibility, and pure grit as they continue to navigate through another unpredictable and extraordinary school year.

Along the journey, invaluable lessons have been learned, new beginnings established, professional growth achieved, and innovative ideas pursued that are necessary for students’ continued success. The world forever changed before our eyes, which has shifted education to focus more on technology and higher-level thinking skills.

One size no longer fits all. The old saying, “We grow through what we go through'' proves to be true. Greenwood students and staff have learned to work differently over the last few years, and they continue to excel in spite of the obstacles presented to them. Traditional instructional methods have shifted for the better, higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills are more prevalent, more rigor and relevance is being provided, there is greater collaboration among teachers and students, creativity and innovation is booming, and more people are coming together as a community to help.

So, yes, good things continue happening here at The 'Wood. We would also like to welcome more than a dozen new staff members to our Greenwood team. They have not wasted any time getting to work and provide our students with all kinds of love and support. They are an invaluable asset to our team and continuously strive to meet all the needs of their students and team members.

Community engagement remains at the forefront and is more vital now than ever. Parent engagement activities scheduled for this year include Community Hero Night where we will honor and host local heroes while enjoying a free hotdog. Local police officers, firemen, CN Marshal Service, paramedics, school resource officer, local game warden, GRDA, and the most anticipated, the life flight helicopter. Families will have the opportunity to get to know these community members and look at emergency vehicles and equipment.

Be on the lookout for more information regarding the upcoming community engagement events. Camp Learn S’more is scheduled for November, the Science Guy will be here in March, and Greenwood’s very own Ninja Warrior Healthy and Fit night is scheduled for April.

Greenwood PTO has continued to support our teachers, staff, and students. They have provided snacks for the teachers’ lounge as well as provide dinner for our teachers on Parent/Teacher conference night. Greenwood store is back this year thanks to the PTO and the volunteers. Greenwood Store is open every Friday for the students to purchase items. The money made from these items goes directly back to the school and in the classrooms. The Greenwood PTO is truly an asset and a driving force behind the success of Greenwood Elementary.

In this ever-changing world, one thing remains constant, and that is students are resilient and they continue to learn and grow in spite of obstacles.

Leon Ashlock is superintendent of the Tahlequah I-35 School District.

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