An Attitude of Gratitude

February 22nd, 2016

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I am struck by my own ignorance! I’m embarrassed to admit that I actually complain at times – when, in reality – I am about as blessed as a person could be. Thankfully, I receive periodic gentle reminders of this simple truth that drive me to an “attitude of gratitude.”

With that attitude in mind, I want to share my updated MOC-FV Gratitude List. I shared the original draft of this list with staff prior to my first year as superintendent at MOC-Floyd Valley. As I revisit it now, the intensity of my gratitude is greater than ever! Below is my updated gratitude list:

School Board

Who gives of their time with absolutely no monetary compensation? Who volunteers their time, talents, energy, and expertise to serve us, and everyone in the MOC-Floyd Valley School District? Who ultimately makes this such a great place to work and serve?

Thank you to our selfless, visionary MOC-FV School Board Members – Gerald Van Roekel, Shane Jager, Amy Kleinhesselink, Christine, Koerselman & Chris Immeker!

Transportation Staff

Who are the first and last school representatives that many of our students see every day? Who sets a positive tone by warmly and sincerely greeting students to start each day, and then safely transports them to and from school? Who, while watching the road, constantly makes sure that all students are treated respectfully?

Thank you to all of the patient, dedicated men and women who drive our buses and transport our MOC-FV students!

Food Service Staff

Who provides our students with the nutrition and energy they need to function throughout each da? And who does this while meeting numerous difficult, government-imposed requirements and still provides flavorful choice? Who works in a stiflingly hot kitchen, doesn’t always feel appreciated, but does all of this with a servant-hearted smile?

Thank you to our ultra-talented and efficient MOC-FV food service staff!


Who oversees all of the health needs of our students? Who juggles the required paperwork? Who works with parents, family members, other medical personnel, and all of us to make sure our students are educated despite various health needs? Who does this in all four buildings with the help of our building secretaries and some of our uniquely qualified staff members like Mr. Krohn?

Thank you our own Wonder Woman, Nurse Adams!

Custodial/Maintenance Staff

Who are the ultimate “behind-the-sceners” who keep things running, keep things clean, anticipate needs, and epitomize service? Who hears, “Could you fix . . . or could you get me . . . ? and always does their best to meet those requests while at the same time, keeping up with the messes and the needs that come from buildings used by hundreds of people every day?

Thank you to all of our amazing, servant-hearted MOC-FV custodial and maintenance staff!

Secretarial/Office/Business Staff

Who is the face and the voice of each building in our district? Who sets the tone by her smile and her unflappable demeanor when bombarded with requests from students, parents, teachers, and administrators? Who always seems to understand what we mean, even when we’re not completely clear in our questions or requests? Who seems to know everyone, helps everyone, and demonstrates more flexibility in a day than seems humanly possible?

Thank you to all of our wonderful, resourceful MOC-FV office personnel!

Aides, Associates & & Family-Partnership Liaison

Who epitomizes support? Who works closely with teachers to meet the needs of all of our students, and often gives that extra dose of love and support that ultimately makes the difference for many of our students with the greatest needs? Who is often instrumental in making sure that no child ever falls through the cracks?

Thank you to all of our caring, compassionate MOC-FV aides, associates & liaison!

Technology Staff

Who lives on the edge of what might be possible? Who is tasked to understand what many of us struggle to understand, and then to make it understandable and useable to us? Who is empowering us with technology and then helping us to understand and use the technology to deepen and add meaning to learning? Who fearlessly leads us through necessary changes while at the same time preparing and repairing all of our technology equipment and infrastructure?

Thank you to our tireless, creative, problem-solving MOC-FV technology team!


Who seems to have mastered the art of caring and listening? Who leads the way in supporting students and families when issues arise? Who connects people so that problems can be solved and healing can begin? Who makes it a priority to instill hope and find help?

Thank you to our empathetic, helpful, resourceful MOC-FV guidance counselors.


Who has a passion for students and a passion for curriculum? Who develops positive relationships with students, collaborates with colleagues, partners with parents and tirelessly works to meet each student where he or she is and take each one as far as possible? Who cultivates a love of learning and arms our students with the tools they will need to successfully meet the challenges ahead?

Thank you to our dedicated, hard-working professional MOC-FV teachers!

Coaches & Activity Sponsors

Who teaches students about character, honor, self-discipline, loyalty, effort, teamwork and humility? Who teaches students that “it is more important to be your best, than to be the best?” Who masterfully uses co-curricular activities to give our students a sense of belonging and an understanding of being a part of something bigger than self?

Thank you to our tireless, giving, passionate coaches and sponsors!

Building Administrators

Who oversees our efforts as a system and insures that our practices align with our mission? Who develops routines and procedures that allow everyone else in the system to do their jobs? Who models learning, challenges, and supports students and staff. Who selflessly leads and cares deeply?

Thank you to our bright, articulate, caring building administrators.

Community Partners

Who extends the walls of the school so that our students have real, relevant learning opportunities?   Who collaborates with teachers and students to bring learning to life? Who even provides material support to students and to programs?

Thank you to our world-expanding, “child-raising village” of community partners!

Parents & Families

Who are the most significant leaders of learning in the lives of our students? Who invests all that they have into their children? Who sacrifices time, energy, and resources to make life for their children the best it can be? Who are the most important partners we have?

Thank you to our involved, engaged, supportive MOC-FV parents and families!


Who is the reason we exist? Who holds the keys to our future – and theirs? Who encourages us with their optimism, humbles us with their honesty, and amazes us with their growth? Who makes every day a joy at MOC-Floyd Valley?

Thank you to our wonderful, world-changing students!


Below are a few gratitude quotes worth considering:

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”

John F. Kennedy

“We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.”

Neal A. Maxwell

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

William Arthur Ward

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”

Brené Brown

“It has been said that life has treated me harshly; and sometimes I have complained in my heart because many pleasures of human experience have been withheld from me…if much has been denied me, much, very much, has been given me…”

Helen Keller