November 20, 2018
Dear Kings Glen Families,
I can’t remember a year when our Thanksgiving break has been preceded by a snow day, but it is definitely clear that fall has passed, and winter is on the way! I hope this letter finds each of you well and looking forward to our great American holiday.
While many of us celebrate various religious observances throughout the year, Thanksgiving is our uniquely American holiday that we can all celebrate together. As always, I am thankful again this year for enjoying the continued support from my precious Kings Glen Family. With the many stresses of our world weighing on our hearts and minds, it is reassuring to know that three things will always be here at the Glen; an outstanding staff of dedicated professionals, parents totally committed to their children’s success, and, most importantly, the greatest students in FCPS! I am very aware what a privilege it is to come to work each morning and serve all three of these treasured groups of people. Personally speaking, just two of the many blessings in my life are the love and support of family and dear friends and the opportunity to come to a job each day that I truly love.
In some ways, it feels like my 14 years as a Gator have flown by in a blink. Most importantly, I am happy to report that I continue to love my job more than ever. While I have very fond memories of my decade in the classroom, it feels wonderful to impact a larger community through my current work with staff and parents.
One of the things I loved most about teaching (long before I had kids of my own) was instilling in my students a sense of responsibility, respect, and caring. As parents, we know how important it is to foster strong character traits in our children as explicitly as we teach math facts, grammar, etc. From the school perspective, we have been very intentional about focusing our character education around specific character strengths, specifically addressing one each week. I am very proud to report that our approach has seemed to resonate with our students, both through our Thought for the Day during our moment of silence, as well as during our morning meetings in class each day. Check out your future Gator Bytes email each Wednesday to see these character strengths included for your information and for your hopeful follow-up around the dinner table! In this way, we can continue to work as a team to grow outstanding young men and women with not only outstanding academic skills but exceptional character, as well.
All due respect to our outstanding Gator Staff, it’s YOU who are our students’ most influential and important teachers….forever! As such, I encourage you to make time to share your thankfulness for the blessings in your life with your children, as well as to share your family’s traditions and holiday memories with your child(ren). Through storytelling, discussing, or reading with your loved ones, your child(ren) can learn, bond, and connect with family in a meaningful, positive way. We all know how critical this is to boys’ and girls’ overall development as healthy, happy individuals. In a time when so many of our students seem to be struggling with nearly overwhelming stress and strain in their young lives, the comfort and joy that your time with them will bring is truly invaluable.
I wish each of you the happiest Thanksgiving holiday. For those of you traveling near or far this week, have a great trip and get home safely.
Best wishes to you,
Samuel L. Elson