Archive for Thursday, September 9, 2004

From the Principal

Making the best of bidding West farewell

September 9, 2004

There are events that can affect what happens in our lives. Often we are responsible for what happens to us. Other times there isn't much we can do. Life is about adjustments and being able to handle whatever is thrown at us.
For the past 10 years, I have had the opportunity and pleasure to serve the community of Eudora as an educator. I have been informed that now I must step forward and serve someone else. I learned recently that I have been called up to serve in Iraq. So now, my focus changes from serving the community of Eudora to serving the United States of America.
In some ways, there is a great amount of pride and satisfaction in hopes of securing the safety of all Americans. In other ways it saddens me because now I must leave my family, for which I am truly sorry. Being gone for two weeks in the summer is easily doable, but deep down you always know that one day your number will be called. This happens to be it.
This isn't the best timing, but it is something I must do. I also leave a school that I have been with since the beginning. And yes, it saddens me to leave the students who are responsible for making education so much fun.
I know there have been many rumors or stories out there. I hope I can clear things up.
I have been a member of the Kansas Army National Guard for 16 years. During this time, I have served in field artillery. It was during my tenure with artillery that I trained in the area of chemical warfare.
When we moved to Eudora more than 11 years ago, I transferred to the headquarters in Topeka and worked in the adjutant general's office and most recently, battalion headquarters.
Traditionally, the Guard is not known for deploying individuals and usually activates and deploys units together. Just recently, the adjutant general permitted a one-time call-up for individuals. I happened to be one of them.
I have been informed that I will be assigned to the 891st Engineer Battalion, which is stationed throughout southeast Kansas. I will report to Iola on Sept. 10 and prepare to go to Fort Sill, Okla.
During our time at Fort Sill, training and certification will begin. From there, the 891st will deploy to Iraq. The length of the tour will be about 18 months.
With that said, rest assured Eudora West will continue striving for excellence. What makes EWE so very special is the great teachers and staff members. I would expect them to continue with the fine tradition of teaching our young children. Also keep in mind that the children are what make our school so great. I know there are some students who may be upset or confused, but kids are resilient and will adjust.
Since I first was aware of the possibilities for deployment, I have been in constant communication with our superintendent, Marty Kobza. Together we will ensure that EWE will be in "good hands" during my time away.
Once I knew what was happening, I addressed all the classes to inform them. Of course there were many questions, and I tried to answer them honestly but tactfully. In fact, your child may have came home with the news, so rest assured we are going to do everything in our power to ease their minds. Besides, I am going to encourage that their writing assignments increase dramatically. Believe me, mail will be appreciated.
I honestly don't know what to expect but will approach this change with a positive attitude. I know it will be difficult -- especially for my family --but getting the opportunity to serve America will be quite gratifying.
I can't begin to express my appreciation to those who have made the past 11 years so wonderful. I consider this to be a hurdle in my life and an obstacle that can be overcome. I look forward to returning back home and to EWE and continuing where we left off.
Thank you, Eudora.

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