You never truly know the impact you can have on a student
by Keith Koehne
Assistant Superintendent, Loveland City School District
Simple, but weighty – that was the premise presented at our Opening Day ceremony for our school year. In the weeks since, I have had the privilege to visit school buildings, meet with teachers and staff, and watch firsthand the impact that caring, committed professionals can have on the lives of children.
One of the best parts of being an educator is having a former student come up to you years after the fact and thank you for something you did for them. And most of the time it is for something that you take for granted – just another part of your day working with kids.
At Opening Day, I shared the story of Charlie Plumb, a former Navy fighter pilot and POW whose life was saved in part by the man who packed his parachute the day before he was shot down above Vietnam. I shared with our teachers, bus drivers, aides, custodians, food service workers and administrators how they are “packing parachutes” for their students every day. In the quiet, diligent attention they provide every student under their care, they are making an impact. Every bus ride, every lesson taught, every game coached, every meal served is an opportunity to build into a young person.
Our impact can be profound, but it is also many times subtle. Our “product” is not easily measurable. Our “ROI” is seen in graduates, productive members of society, and in future fathers, mothers, spouses and leaders. Every student we come in contact with has incredible potential. We are blessed to live and work in a community that takes this responsibility so seriously. As we get into the heart of the school year and start packing our students’ parachutes, we commit ourselves to honor the trust placed in us and broaden the impact we have on every Tiger, every day.