From the Executive Director – September 2012

The Power of Words

It’s hard to believe that yet another summer has passed and a school year about to begin. The annual ritual of opening school after the summer recess seems less measured than perhaps it used to be.

In the “old days” summer was a time of respite, relaxation and rejuvenation. Now June and the end of the school year rushes headlong through July and August and into September in a blur. Nonetheless, I trust that in those intervening months you had some time to relax, read or enjoy a favorite outdoor pastime. While hot, it certainly was a glorious summer. Recently I have been reading a biography of Walter Cronkite, the noted CBS broadcaster. He once was described as the most trusted man in America. In fact it is said that when he declared in 1968 that the Vietnam War after the TET offensive would at best end in a stalemate, his words and their reception by the American people created quite a stir. Many historians argue that it caused President Johnson to decide not to run for reelection. In fact, it is said by some intimates of the President that he said upon learning of Cronkite’s assertion of the stalemate “if I have lost Cronkite I have lost the American public.” Such are the potential power of words.

While we have a platform of less magnitude from which to speak it in no way diminishes the power of our words. For us is given the privilege of using our words to nurture, promote and challenge our young people. We never know what that kind word of praise or nod of encouragement can mean in the development and self-esteem of our young people. As we begin this school year and the trials and tribulations that it will inevitably bring, make sure you take the time to visit with your students and staff to tell them what a great job they are doing and how much you appreciate their efforts.

Such acts of kindness and attention will have lasting impacts and make the challenges they face more easily overcome. They rely on you and are most fortunate to have you as their leaders. Best wishes for another successful school year and a happy and restful Labor Day Weekend!