Tuesday, November 25, 2008

To My Teacher Friends, and to All Who Have "Touched" My Life---I Am Thankful

 The Daily Encourager
David Langerfeld
Nov 25, 2008


Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment -- to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.
Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student's art. And they were.

But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher's true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.

Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.
His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went -- until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.

When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas' desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was.
The little boy looked away and murmured, "It's yours, teacher."

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, "Take my hand, Douglas, we'll go outside." Or, "Let me show you how to hold your pencil."  Or, "Let's do this together." Douglas was most thankful for his teacher's hand.
Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks, but they'll remember the hand that reaches out.

"Though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:24

"My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quite a Crowd!

Wow! It was standing room only tonight as parents and other concerned citizens gathered in the Leesville Rd. High School auditorium to discuss Wake County's decision to mandate a year-round schedule for Leesville Rd. Middle School. Chuck Dulaney and Patti Head were there, and Mr. Dulaney shared a short power point presentation detailing the plan. That was followed by over an hour's worth of 3-minute talks by at least 35 attendees. The majority of the speakers opposed the conversion, but there was definitely a vocal group who favored the idea. Many questions were posed, some of which were answered by Mr. Dulaney or by two year-round school principals he had brought to the meeting.

I will try to give you more advance notice on other meetings that will be occurring. I do know that the following dates and locations have been announced for feedback on the WCPSS 2009-2012 draft reassignment proposal (posted at www.wcpss.net):

Community Engagement Meetings to get public feedback on the plan are scheduled for:

  • Nov. 20 at Knightdale High, 100 Bryan Chalk Lane, Knightdale, NC
  • Dec. 1 at Cary High, 638 Walnut Street, Cary, NC
  • Dec. 3 at Wake Forest-Rolesville High, 420 W. Stadium Drive, Wake Forest, NC
  • Dec. 4 at Holly Springs High, 5329 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs, NC
  • Dec. 8 at Broughton High, 723 St. Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC

Meetings will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of each high school. You can also submit comments online.



On Monday evening, November 17th, administrators from the WCPSS Growth and Planning Department are holding a community engagement meeting in the Leesville High School auditorium from 7 pm to 9 pm.  The purpose of the meeting is to explain draft staff recommendations for student assignment related to the change in calendar, to answer questions about those draft recommendations, and to listen to alternative proposals and ideas.

If you are opposed to the Wake County School Board's proposal to mandate a year-round schedule for Leesville Road Middle School, attendance at this meeting is a must. To access the website of "1Campus1Calendar", a group that is spearheading the initiative to keep Leesville families together on one traditional schedule, visit www.1campus1calendar.com

Saturday, November 01, 2008

If You Haven't Voted Yet...

Although millions have already cast their ballot early, I personally like to wait until Election Day to vote. In case you're interested, WakeCARES has listed their endorsements for certain candidates, and has posted extensive and thought-provoking candidate replies to a survey they sent out with education-related questions. Well worth checking out, in my opinion...As for me? Well, sometimes I prefer not to disclose who I'm voting for until after I actually vote. This year, however, with local election results every bit as crucial as national ones, I'll share just a few.


Bill Daughtridge for Treasurer

John Miller for Judge

Neal Hunt for Senator

Kenn Gardner for County Commissioner

Vernita Peyton for County Commissioner

Nelson Dollar, Marilyn Avila, Paul Stam for NC House of Representatives


There are others, of course, but these are some that came right to mind. Whichever side you support, just make sure that you do take advantage of our precious right to vote here in America. There have been plenty of times in the past when Wake County races were won by very narrow margins - times when every single vote made a difference. Get to the polls on November 4th, and you can have a role in shaping the future of our great state and county!