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Mindset makes all the difference

It is hard to believe we are already beginning a new year. After the year 2020 was for most people, I’m sure the thought of a new year is a welcome one for many of us, since it usually means a time for renewal and for starting fresh.

And while I believe this will be the case in several areas of my life and others’ lives, we are still facing some things that are lingering from this past year, many of which are the result of this ongoing pandemic.

As we enter this new year, I find myself hoping and praying for the same things I did back when school started in August—for good health for our students, faculty, and staff; for good attitudes in the midst of a school year that looks different than any other year we’ve ever experienced; for new and fun ways to teach and learn in a time of masks and social distancing; for as many in-person learning days as we can get; for full seasons for our spring sports and extracurriculars; and for as normal of a school year as possible for the sake of our students.

I know many of us hoped this pandemic situation would be more under control by this point as we approach almost a year of restrictions, quarantines, masks and social distancing, and I know to many, it can be disheartening that this isn’t the case. But as we start a new year, and as our students and teachers start a new semester, I’d like to encourage everyone to stop and remember the good things that came from this past year — the memories made, new traditions that might have been started, new babies, marriages, or even just extra time to be with your loved ones while we were all forced to slow down and spend time together during this pandemic.

A simple shift of mindset can make all the difference, especially as we continue to navigate this pandemic together.

Even though we might be tired and weary of all things related to this virus, I want to remind our community that you play a large part in how our semester plays out. The overall health and wellness of our community affects our schools, so what you do in managing this virus matters here, too.

When the virus first started appearing last spring and schools had to be shut down, we had so many spring sports athletes and students involved in extracurricular activities who were brokenhearted when we had to cancel their seasons and events. These students work very hard to hone their skills and their talents, and we want to do all we can to ensure they have the opportunity to see their hard work pay off this semester.

So I want to encourage everyone to continue to be cautious, to be proactive, to wear masks, to wash hands and to social distance when necessary. Let’s do whatever we can to limit the spread of this virus here at home — for the sake of our students, for the sake of our elderly and immunocompromised and for the sake of each other. If we do that, I have no doubt this semester will be as great as the last one.

As always, it’s GREAT to be a Golden Tiger!


Heath Grimes is the superintendent of Russellville City Schools. He and his wife Amy have three daughters: Leah, Halle and Erin.

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