Mr. Comstock has recorded a video message for you, which you can find on YouTube at https://youtu.be/3yCU6H8P46I, or through Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DU3oq1fTOr9UaBuBxij66BGJcA47rIw3/view?usp=sharing.
The text of the message is pasted below.
MR. COMSTOCK'S HOLIDAY MESSAGE DEC 2020
Each year before our holiday break, I take this opportunity to reflect on what District 32 means to me and how honored I am to serve as your superintendent. I love to share my hopes for our continuous improvement and reaffirm our goal of helping every student prepare for the future they dream of.
This year is different. In every way. The world has changed because of the pandemic. Education has been thrown into a whirlwind of constant change and we’ve hit a lot of bumps along this road.
It would be easy to look back and say that 2020 has offered nothing good … Let’s just forget all of this strife and uncertainty and focus on 2021 and better days ahead.
But that’s not what’s in my heart today.
When I think of District 32 and the year we’ve endured, I think of people.
It’s always been our people who make Perry County School District 32 an outstanding organization — and this year is a perfect example of how our people make a difference.
Our board members, who donate thousands of hours each year to creating policies to support our educators and students have taken bold steps this year to both protect us and move us forward. Without their support, we would not be preparing for the return of our students to campus five days a week after the holiday break.
Our parents have become full partners in the education of our students. Some have chosen to keep their children at home to learn, and others have adapted to the on-campus hybrid schedules. You’ve helped with homework, asked tough questions and offered encouragement to our teachers and administrators.
Our support staff members have created a school environment where we are safe and cared for. Thanks to their dedication to detail, we are not seeing transmission of the virus inside our schools. Kids are getting to and from school safely. We’ve brought every student online, and are providing parents tools to keep them safe in the cyber world. We’re serving healthy meals in classrooms and through daily drive-thru service. Our nurses, secretaries, drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, IT staff and maintenance crews are the vital gears that keep our schools running well each day.
Our teachers have faced, without a doubt, the most difficult year as educators that I’ve experienced in my 28-year career. They were heartbroken when our school year ended early in March and devoted themselves to learning a new way of teaching … one that they would never have chosen for their students.
They are doing double duty now, teaching in class and constantly improving the methods they use to interact and instruct online. COVID-mitigation means helping little ones master the mask, keeping middle schoolers socially distanced, and helping high schoolers create lasting memories without treasured traditions. They are exhausted and often sad at what they cannot give their kids. But they are never defeated, and show up every day to do whatever we ask of them.
And finally, I want to commend our students for their courage, grace and endurance. Their youth has been marked in a way that our nation has not seen since the last Great War. Every aspect of life has been affected.
Let’s face it — 2020 has not been fun. These kids have faced the disappointment of not seeing their friends, cancelled events, and trying to learn, often without their teachers and peers. And yet they find joy in the little things. They continue to smile, celebrate one another and support one another. They have been excellent role models for how one should face adversity. I’m so proud of them!
So, as my family and I prepare to celebrate the Christmas season, I pause to be grateful to you — all of the people who make up the District 32 family.
I feel blessed to be on this journey with you — and to usher in brighter days ahead.
Please be safe, stay healthy, have a Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you in the New Year.