Director's Corner: On Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to thank all of you for your trust in the school and for your many contributions to it. Thank you for all the school supplies; thank you for the books; thank you for helping at our work days and our outreach events; thank you for gardening; thank you for camping; thank you for sharing your expertise; thank you for coordinating and helping with fundraising events and Share events; thank you to the members of the Facilities and Outreach committees, to the PTO officers and its other active members, and to all the Board members for their time and their work; thank you to our dedicated teachers for putting so much extra time and love into their job. We wish to give special thanks to Alyssa McManus for coordinating the Magnolia First Friday bake sales month after month, to Tanya Schaad for almost single-handedly managing the One Week Boutique effort, to Sharon and Sunshine for getting everything ready for Rendezvous and for the Halloween party and, last but not least, to Dan McClarnon for the time and energy he put in researching, finding, pampering, and fitting with new seats the new Magnolia bus.

We also wish to thank our educational partners, Frank McKeown, Roz Osterbye, Lori Savage Grayson, our friends from Southeastern Therapy Services and our African drumming instructor Yazid Johnson, as well as our volunteers, Daniel Ervin as our Cross Country Coach, Zoe Galitz in the Back Room, Susan Smith and Asia Williams in the Front Room, and, briefly, Elizabeth Bradley in the middle school.

We hope to see most of you on Tuesday, November 22nd, at 11:45 a.m. for our end-of-theme show and Thanksgiving party.

Director's Corner: On Solicitation

We are well aware that we do solicit our community a lot. We ask for help for outreach events, fundraising events, community service events, work days; we convene meetings; we hope for PTO participation and committee work; we encourage attendance at school events and camping trips; we tap into parents’ expertise and talent for our themes; all that on top of four hours per month of work for participating tuition families. We are aware that this represents a lot of time, and sometimes some expenses. We are also aware that it may feel overwhelming to those of you who cannot avoid feeling guilty if you do not answer all solicitations. We ask for help because we need it, as all non-profits with a tight budget do, but we want to make clear that we do not wish for anyone to feel pestered or burnt out. We do worry when we always see the same people stepping forward. We would love to spread the work as widely as possible. To avoid guilt and burn-out, and to promote joyful participation, we suggest you “budget” your time in advance. Maybe you can afford the time to attend just one out of six or so outreach events. Maybe you cannot plan to be present at PTO meetings regularly but are available to serve on either the Facilities or the Outreach committees (created by the Board of Directors and open to all interested Magnolia community members). Maybe your heart is into community service and nothing else, or into guilds. Whatever your level of participation, we welcome it and are grateful for it. Everything you do enriches our community.

On our side, we pledge to do our best to advertise upcoming events and activities as early as possible. A number of them are already in the 2011-12 school calendar; the others make their way into the newsletter, on the elementary school front door, in email announcements throughout the year, and sign-up sheets appear on the elementary school kitchen door. It is, again, a lot to keep track of. Please consider letting us know what your participation preferences are, and we’ll make an extra effort to ensure you are informed accordingly. Thanks for all you do.