Superintendent’s Message

  • Welcome to a new school year!
    Superintendent, Dr. Michael Carymichael cary

    The theme for this issue of the Pine Needle is centered around finding success and balance in life. While individuals may define personal success differently, I believe that we all have an internal need to feel successful in an aspect of life that is important to us. For some, this may be raising a thriving family, being a good neighbor, starting your own small business or being good at a valued hobby. There are many ways to find that feeling of success. For some, this may come fairly easily. For others, it may take considerable effort and drive to reach their personally defined success. Regardless of how you find your success, we are learning that it’s important to ensure that our lives are also balanced.

    I once heard someone use a stovetop as a metaphor for finding balance in life. The concept went something like this: Imagine that life is like a four-burner stovetop. One burner represents your personal life (friends and hobbies), one burner represents your work life, another represents your spiritual life and the last represents your family life. Imagine now that you can sustain providing a certain amount of energy to all four burners – keeping them all at an even medium heat. In this example, you have a perfect balance of temperature between all four aspects of life. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always make it easy or convenient to sustain a perfect balance and a person may need to increase the energy, or turn up the heat, in a specific area. It may be more time is needed at work; it may be an ill family member who needs help. You may be able to sustain this additional energy for a short period while keeping everything else at a healthy medium heat. But, keep it up for too long and you’ll begin to feel stressed and burned-out.

    Imagine now that these increased demands don’t subside in a reasonable time; it often requires us to reduce our energy spent in other areas of life. In other words, you turn down the heat in that aspect of life. You may spend less time pursuing the things that bring you energy and happiness in life. You may begin to neglect family or your job. Regardless of how you choose to cope with the change, the important thing to consider is how to make sure your coping strategies are healthy and provide the chance to maintain balance in life.

    For the adults reading this snippet, I’m sure many of you have experienced times in life that feel “out of balance.”  This is no different for our young people. The challenges of childhood, especially for our teenagers, have changed dramatically in recent years. More than ever, it’s important that we help our young people understand the importance of maintaining balance in life as they strive for success. We can do that by modeling balance in our own lives or by talking with our young people to understand their challenges.

    I hope you enjoy this issue of the Pine Needle.

    More importantly, I hope you experience personal success in the coming months and enjoy a life that is rewarding and balanced.