With the school year in full swing at Shiloh village schools, I want to take this opportunity to stop and express appreciation to the people who have made this opening of school begin as smoothly as it has.
It all starts with our teachers and staff. They are truly remarkable. Research clearly shows that the most important factor in a child’s learning and success in school are the teacher and staff that they encounter during their education. In my years in this vocation, I have seen that teachers and support staff truly do make a difference. As I have said before, we are fortunate to live in communities such as Shiloh and O’Fallon that value education. Great schools often form the very heart of their community, where students and their families come together to learn, share resources and give their all to their children. Teachers and support staff are the educational backbone of this community, creating the classroom, safe school structure, and extracurricular experiences around which everything revolves. Thank you to the employees of Shiloh schools for making this a great start to the 2016-2017 school year.
Further, I want to thank our parents who are partnering with us and entrusting us to help their children reach new levels. In this day and time of financial crisis and state budget woes, our children continue to blossom and show no ill effects from what we as adults worry about.
Beyond our parents’ individual partnerships with the school, our Parent Teacher Organization works collaboratively to make sure our students and staff receive additional support. As we have transitioned through personnel changes and reductions at Shiloh schools over the last several years, our PTO has helped us to meet the demands that were created. They have gone beyond the typical fundraising, of which, they do very well. The PTO has collaborated to offer their valuable time when we need assistance.
New this year, our PTO has taken on the task of setting up picture taking for our student and staff ID badges, ran our highly successful elementary book fair, will organize and conduct our middle school book fair, and host Santa’s Kottage in support of our band program. They continue to fund our school field trips, Scholastic News, and the replacement of aging devices with newly installed ceiling-mounted projectors in each of our classrooms. In late summer, they even added 75 yards of landscaping mulch to our schools to create a more inviting environment for our students and staff to return back to their school home. All this while still providing their traditional cost-free opportunities for families in our community such as trunk or treat in October and a community Thanksgiving dinner in November.
Another parent group that goes above and beyond for Shiloh students is the Athletic Boosters. They seek every opportunity to garner funds to support our student athletes’ needs for uniforms and equipment. Some of these Booster parents do not have children still within our schools, but they understand and appreciate what impact they have had on our students and continue to contribute to Shiloh’s successes.
As Shiloh school’s superintendent, I continue to be humbled by the efforts generated in support of our schools through the synergy of the community I serve. I know I speak for our teachers and staff when I extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who help support Shiloh schools. It still amazes me what devoted and passionate groups from the community and schools can do when they all work together toward a common goal. The goal, of course, is fostering a lifetime of success for our students.