2009-10-18 / Viewpoints

Chalk Talk

“Adversity Reveals Character”
By John Strycker Superintendent New Lothrop Area Schools

As a Varsity Basketball coach I would always tell my athletes at the beginning of each season, “Boys, while I appreciate your enthusiasm and excitement now, inevitably, there will come a time this season that will make or break us.” I would continue, “When adversity hits us, our character as individuals and as a team unit will be revealed, and it will be at that time, we will find out just exactly what we are made of. Until then, our job is to build strong character and trust among ourselves, so that when that moment comes, adversity will reveal such character.” My high school basketball coach had fewer words in making the same point as he would quote, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The older I get and the more experience I gain in leadership, I see how both statements are true. It is during the challenges in life and in business that reveal what individuals, companies, sports teams and school districts are made of.

I believe few would question that our country and state are in the midst of challenging days. Such challenges bring back memories of those cold winter nights when my basketball team had just lost a close game. It brings back memories of the mid-season slump that came with losing a game or two in a row. However, it also reminds me of how we would pull together by the end of the season creating a bond with those kids that still exist 20 years later.

This year, New Lothrop Area Public Schools was again blessed with enrollment growth. We have also been blessed with a very good start to the 2009-2010 school year. We cannot let the state or federal budget challenge take away from the positive. The reality is that our country and state are in the “mid-season slump.” During these times, we must stick with the guiding principles and values that will unite us and keep us strong. I am proud to be a part of a community and school district that looks to the positive and works together for the common good of our kids. It is also refreshing to live and work with people that identify differences and work through them in a responsible fashion.

With that said, it is vital that we keep communication lines open between the school district and community. If you have a question or concern, please contact us directly or come by for a visit. For district updates, please visit our district website at www.newlothrop.k12.mi.us.

Have a great month, John

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