The phrase 'school community' is often used to describe how our schools connect and interact with the broader community. There are a number of ways that we strive to foster these connections, whether through open houses; parent/guardian/teacher conferences; traditions like graduation and class night; showcases such as wax museums, plays, and concerts; partnerships with organizations like the PTO and Foundation 51; communication tools including newsletters, YouTube, social media, stakeholder surveys; and the list goes on.
But school community is more than just the ways our schools interface beyond our traditional mission to educate. It is, in many ways, a feeling--albeit a connection--that binds all of us together in ways that build pride in our students' achievements and accomplishments. Many of these moments cannot be explained with words, but through a deeper connection that comes from experiencing the best our students and schools can offer. Perhaps this is why so many of our school community's parents, guardians, and staff members are Greely alum.
I suppose there are ways to try to explain this feeling, but no attempt will really do it justice. Nonetheless, I'll try to relay one experience this week that may begin to illustrate what I mean. I dropped in during the last few minutes of the Greely v. Brunswick varsity boys basketball game this week, with hundreds of Ranger fans watching from the bleachers as a 51-51 tie materialized during the last few moments of the contest. With a mere 0.5 seconds left and an inevitable overtime period looming, Greely landed three foul shots and won the game just in the nick of time. It was an obvious moment of Ranger pride for all those fans in attendance that night.
It occurred to me that there was likely something more than just Ranger pride at work that evening. Perhaps it was an underlying sense of being part of something bigger than just that one moment in time. Moments like this, as with so many others, remind us that we are the heirs of those who have come before us, just as we are the gatekeepers for those who will come after us. Each one of us is, quite literally, the here and now, the ones holding the Greely legacy in our hands. This just may be the true essence of what it means to be part of a school community.