Last week, I read a short article about attitude, written by Dr. Aimee Copas, the executive
director of the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders. Copas said that while we all have
attitudes, successful people and organizations have similar attitudes. I would like to describe the
three attitudes she wrote about because I think the attitudes of our community are the reason
we were able to celebrate a successful bond referendum vote on Sept. 25.
The first takes the form of a contagious, upbeat attitude. That is truly the people that participated
in the referendum process, either as a Board member, a member of my administrative team, a
district staff member, a member of VOICE, or just an invested stakeholder. Their glasses were
always half full, they met challenges with optimism and solutions, and they didn't allow the
naysayers to bring them down.
The second is the can-do attitude. Here, the mentality is: Give us a task and we are going to get
it done! Each "yes" committee meeting, each board meeting, and each core team meeting have
been full of "can-do" people. They stepped up to the plate and said, "Let's get it done." And last
week, we got it done.
Finally, the last attitude is gratitude. People with this attitude appreciate the people they know,
the things they have, and the opportunities they're afforded...and they SHOW it! They express
gratitude whenever they can and often do so publicly.
I need to express a sincere attitude of gratitude to so many, because this was truly a team
effort. Key partners in this vote were: West Fargo Pioneer, FM Area Association of Realtors, Home Builders Association of FM, Lions Clubs, Mustang Boosters, Packer Backers, Rotary Clubs, UP Aquatics, VOICE, West Fargo Exchange Club, The Forum, and the WFPS PTAs and
PTOs. Some gave precious time at their meetings so stakeholders would understand what was
on the bond referendum, some publicly encouraged others to vote yes, which is sometimes a
politically scary thing to do, and others gave resources.
I would also like to thank our School Board, members of the district core leadership team, and
all district leaders. Passing a bond referendum is not for the weak or weary; there are many
hours of planning, strategizing, and presenting, and their support and stamina shined. My theme
for my first year as Superintendent focuses on being a team, and our team was truly prevalent
in every step of this successful campaign.
Finally, the largest expression of gratitude goes to our community. Again, again, and again, the
voters step up to the plate to support our students. They are not afraid of making the tough
decisions in the best interest of students. Students are our future, and our voters understand the
education they need to be successful in our world. The support of our community helps propel
our goals for the future into action.
Come on, team, let's build some schools.