Our school buildings have been closed now for almost two full months. While remote learning has continued, what I’ve been most impressed with is our teachers working to reach out to students and connect and make things special. Just last week Bluffsview kindergarten teachers, Alysa Merrill and Ashley Comer, drove to 52 different houses and wrote chalk messages on their students’ driveways. At Worthington Hills our music teacher, Kara Johansen, worked with all of her 6th graders on a collaboration that brought me to tears. The examples of what our teachers are doing throughout our district are too numerous to name. In my own house my 7th grade daughter, Riley, received a full page handwritten letter from her physical education teacher Mr. Cunningham. (I didn’t know physical education teachers wrote letters? Handwriting was excellent too!) Riley has the letter hanging on the wall of her bedroom. It was that meaningful to her.
In Worthington our mission is to empower a community of learners who will change the world. We remind people often that our students WILL change the world. They will do so in big and small ways. They may find a cure for cancer or help negotiate a peace project. They will be the next generation of doctors, lawyers, business owners, teachers, police officers and firefighters. Our students will change the world and Mr. Cunningham is an excellent example of that.
Back in 1999 I was the Dean of Students at McCord Middle School. I was also the head football coach back when our mascot was still the Mustangs and our big game each year was against Perry in the Wolf Bowl. (The picture above is of my dad and I coaching together on the field at Worthington Kilbourne High School in one of those Wolf Bowls. Wolf Bowl Champs ‘99 and ‘00!) When we coached at McCord we coached a young athlete named Colt. He played cornerback for us on defense and some running back, receiver, and quarterback on offense. He was a good athlete but mostly just a good kid.
Colt is just a kid from Worthington who grew-up, graduated college, and came home to teach in Worthington. When he was coaching basketball at Worthington Kilbourne High School in 2014 I wrote this blog about the difference he was making for a young man named Drew George. In 2020 I see Colt Cunningham going above and beyond as a physical education teacher to encourage my 7th grade daughter. I see him investing in my nephew, Isaiah, and I see him taking the time to go the extra mile for kids. I’m old enough to see things come full circle and because of that I’m old enough to know that our Worthington students will make a positive difference in this world. They will accomplish our mission.
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent