I hope our community, staff and students enjoyed their holiday break and are as excited about the new year and semester as I am! It is a refreshing time as we begin the new year with a clean slate full of possibilities and positivity!  It is also a time of reflection and self improvement that will improve those around us each day.  How and what we learn from the events and choices in the past year is key as it affects our future happiness.

We are working hard in our district to purposely create healthy school culture which will help us all reach our ultimate goal of universal student achievement.  The world of educational practice is constantly changing and we want to strategically embrace those changes that align with our mission and purpose.  This requires ownership and voice from all our stakeholders. We want our students, employees and parents to be proud of our schools and create a culture that is positive in purpose.  Aligning all the energies of our people into one collective focus on positive culture supporting student achievement is the ultimate goal.  It is challenging and ongoing to do so, but so rewarding.  No organization has more at stake than schools when it comes to this area.  Our kids deserve the best year yet!  


One of my favorite authors is Jon Gordon and I wanted to close by sharing his 20 Tips for us to personally have a fantastic year!  


Jon Gordon’s 20 Tips for 2018

  1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
  2. Take a daily "Thank You Walk." You can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time. Feel blessed and you won’t be stressed.
  3. Eat better.  Nutrition is key.
  4. Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself with words of truth and encouragement.
  5. Post a sign that says "No Energy Vampires Allowed." Gandhi said, "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet."
  6. Be a Positive Team Member. Being positive doesn’t just make you better, it makes everyone around you better.
  7. Don't chase success. Decide to make a difference and success will find you.
  8. Get more sleep. You can't replace sleep with a double latte.
  9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
  10. Look for opportunities to love, serve and care. You don’t have to be great to serve but you have to serve to be great.
  11. Live your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. We don't get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.
  12. Remember, there's no such thing as an overnight success. Love the process and you’ll love what the process produces.
  13. Trust that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.
  14. Implement the no complaining rule. If you are complaining, you're not leading.
  15. Read more books than you did in 2017.
  16. Don't seek happiness. Instead live with love, passion and purpose and happiness will find you.
  17. Focus on "Get to" vs "Have to." Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.
  18. The next time you "fail" remember that it’s not meant to define you. It’s meant to refine you.
  19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.
  20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.


Happy New Year and Blessings to you and your families! May you all have the best year yet!  Go Cards!


Mr. Todd Strom


South Sioux City Community Schools