Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Beginning

The time between Christmas and New Year's Day always seems to provide numerous opportunities to look back at the prior year as well as look ahead to the upcoming one. Many people excitedly make their "resolutions" as to what they're going to improve, do more of, less of, etc. as the new year begins. I also get caught up in the excitement of a "new beginning" each January 1st. I want to exercise more. I want to lose weight. I want to be a better husband, father, friend, leader, etc.

What I want our young people to know, however, is that you don't have to wait until January 1st to "start over." It is never too late to stop doing what you're doing and to make a positive change. You don't have to keep going down a path that makes you unhappy. Any day of the year is a good day to start over, improve your attitude, accelerate your effort, whatever the case may be.

It is never too late to make a good choice and a fresh start. None of us ever are too far down the wrong path to make a U-turn. We are never past the point of no return. There is hope for each and everyone of us to make positive changes in our lives, no matter how things are going at the present time.

Thanks for making 2013 a wonderful year. I hope 2014 is even better for you and your loved ones.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Be About "The Y"

The York Dukes are experiencing an unparalleled amount of success right now. With the One-Act STATE CHAMPIONSHIP this past Friday, our cup continues to "runneth over." Wow! What an exciting time to be a Duke!

I think it is time for us to re-focus and make sure we are "About the Y" instead of worrying about what recognition some individuals and programs do/don't get. "The Y" is for YORK. All of us. Alumni, patrons, grandparents, the list goes on....

We need to be about the Dukes. All of the Dukes. Every program. All the time. We need to understand that EVERY program, no matter how big or small, is extremely important to our school system and community.

The state championship in One-Act Play is for the entire community and school to be proud of and to embrace. When York Softball and Football advanced to the state finals, those were wins/journeys for our entire community; for our entire student body.

What concerns me is we seem to have a few "bean counters" popping up here and there. These folks, instead of enjoying all of the success that we're having, seem fixated on finding something to be upset about. They are worried about "this" program being on the website for two more days than "that" program. They get angry because more people attended "that" game/event instead of "this" game/event. Instead of being thankful the program they love is being successful, they spend their energy worrying that someone else might get just a little something more than they got. Instead of supporting ALL programs, they are trying to pick sides and make this into an "us vs. them" situation and that is dangerous for us all. It is not just about your program, whichever one that may be. We're all on the same TEAM. We all wear "The Y."

Being successful ought to be the primary motivation for hard work and sacrifice – not how many people shake your hand or tweet about you or like a facebook status.

As far as recognition goes, every parent, student, patron, coach, etc. can find "recognition things" to be upset or happy about. "Somebody" is always going to get a little bit more in your eyes. You will see/hear what you look/listen for but is that the point? Do we try to win things so we can get our name in the paper or do we try to win things because winning is a wonderful feeling and it makes all of your hard work and sacrifice worthwhile?

Pat Riley has a wonderful quote that I love, “The main thing is to make sure the main thing stays the main thing.” Our main thing in YPS is to create opportunities for ALL kids and to help put them in position to be successful. We truly have something for everyone!

The York Dukes determine the level of success the York Dukes have in academics, fine arts, extra-curriculuars, and sports. We control our destiny. Not others. We must avoid all the "clutter" that tries to get in the way.

The York Duke train is absolutely rolling right now and it should continue for years to come…..enjoy the ride and be about “The Y.”

Monday, December 9, 2013

One-Act Qualifies for STATE Again!

The York High School One-Act Program qualified for STATE for the second year in a row after winning the District Contest in Seward on Friday, December 6. The team will now perform their play one last time at the Johnny Carson Theatre in Norfolk on Friday, December 13.

The YHS One-Act Team will be performing "Kochenderfer's Frankenstein", a mad cap comedy about a college student's science project running amok on campus. The monster-themed one-act should be right on target for the state performance day of Friday the 13th. Lead actors in the play and recipients of many acting awards throughout the season are BeeAnna Gibbs, Brock Schoff, Kalon Beeson, Paul Lindsey, and Sarah Bailey.

Other Class B schools performing at the State Contest are Gothenburg, Bennington, Pierce and Omaha Concordia.

Congratulations to all the actors, stage help and directors for their outstanding season. We are very proud of the hard work you have put in and we're excited you get to compete for the gold like you deserve on Friday. Go get em!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH is an international program that provides high school students with disabilities the opportunity to transition to the work world using internships. York Public Schools is proud to be involved with ESU 6 and York General Health Care Services in our 2nd year of our local Project SEARCH initiative. We've had several students learn valuable work skills at YGH and we are thankful for the opportunity they provide us.

I attended our Project SEARCH "Open House" in October and was so impressed with the work our students were performing. They take a lot of pride in what they're doing and how they do it. Students with disabilities deserve as bright of a future as we can help provide and Project SEARCH is another avenue of opportunities to help some students pursue.

To learn more, click the following link: