SUPERINTENDENT’S CORNER: Community cordially invited to school events

By LAURA HAMMACK, guest columnist

A week or so ago, I was feeling a little bit down, so I took the words of one of my mentors to heart and asked our kindergarten teachers if I could visit their classrooms and read a couple of books to the boys and girls. Happily, they agreed, and I was able to spend some genuinely therapeutic time in our seven amazing kindergarten classrooms.

There is nothing like a 5-year-old! They will tell you if your hair looks funny (it did), they will give you a hug without abandon, and they will make you smile and smile and smile and smile. The feeling of being a “little bit down” immediately falls away as you are infected with the energy and positivity that radiates from a kindergartner.

I tell you this story because, while we are entering a season where we can realize the greatest of joys, this can also be a season where we might not feel as joyous as we think we should be, which can translate into despair and sadness.

Brown County Schools wants to be the antidote to any of these latter feelings, and I hope this article will be one that you use if you are feeling not so wonderful during this “most wonderful time of the year.”

We have been conducting interviews with community members from across the county who represent a variety of stakeholder groups. The purpose of these conversations has been to accomplish the first step of the design thinking process that is the foundation for our “Ready Schools Initiative” funded by the Regional Opportunities Initiative.

We have been compiling data from nearly 100 interviews that Mrs. Wrightsman has led and I have been touched by many of the recurring themes.

One of the themes that has really resonated with me is we are hearing that if you don’t have children or grandchildren in the schools, there is not much awareness or understanding of the events that are taking place within the schools.

We want to change this feeling and make our community feel very welcome and a necessary component of our school activities. Therefore, I’d like this article to serve as a personal invitation to attend one of the many incredible opportunities that are offered to our community during the month of December.

I promise, if your “holly jolly” spirit is lost or if your holidays are looking more “blue” than festive, one of these events will change your mindset and you will capture the spirit that you might be seeking.

The Brown County Schools music departments are in full swing this month. Concerts are taking place at the Brown County High School auditorium on the following evenings:

•Van Buren Elementary School: Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.

•Brown County High School Band: Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.

•Brown County High School Choir: Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.

•Brown County Junior High School Band/Choir: Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.

•Brown County Intermediate School Band/Choir: Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.

•Helmsburg Elementary School: Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.

•Sprunica Elementary School: Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m.

Also, nothing says holiday spirit like some good old-fashioned Indiana basketball! Our Brown County High School boys and girls basketball programs are now in full swing and they are teams that are very fun to watch. We’d love to see our gymnasiums packed with community members and welcome you to all of these exciting events. If you are interested in attending any athletic events, please visit browncountyathletics.com for a full schedule.

We intend to work very hard to make sure that our entire community feels as if you are a member of the school community. Please join us at one of these events so you can catch the holiday spirit and see the incredible talent that is held by our boys and girls. “We are Brown County” because of all of the members of our community! That includes you! Hope to see you soon.

Laura Hammack is superintendent of Brown County schools. She can be reached at lhammack@browncountyschools.com or 812-988-6601.