Editor’s note: Answering The Purcell Register’s five questions this week is Purcell Elementary Principal Cindy Stone.
Q: How will you remember the pandemic?
A: I will remember the way we worked together as a community to help students stay in school. It’s never fun to get the call that your child has been exposed, but our families have done an amazing job of working together for the greater good and for that I will always be grateful.
We have learned so many things and grown so much as educators, families and students. In-person learning is critical for young learners. Young children learn through play and interaction with their classmates. As we continue to battle through this pandemic, I pray that we continue to work together and never lose sight of being kind to one another.
Q: What is the best thing that happens at Purcell Elementary School?
A: The best thing that happens at Purcell Elementary is that we get to love kids each day and help them learn! We love to see growth in our students! We’ve learned that social emotional health and learning is just as important as academics. For this reason, we adopted Conscious Discipline last year to help in addressing the social emotional needs of students and staff. This continues to be very helpful to our students and staff.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face?
A: My biggest challenge is keeping a work/home balance in my own life. When you have good balance, you have more peace and joy in your life which enables you to think better and serve others more effectively and efficiently. When I see my balance is off, I know that I need to step back and remind myself that God is bigger than this pandemic and it too shall pass. And then I remind myself not to forget to do things that I love.
Q: Is it hard to keep your faculty and staff motivated?
A: We have an amazing staff at Purcell Elementary and we regularly pick one another up. Our educators and staff are a culture who endlessly give of their hearts, time and energy to serve others. Of course we get down and it’s important that we model for our students how to problem solve.
It’s healthy to work together to get through tough situations. I know I don’t have all the answers and they know I’m not afraid to admit that. They also know they can count on me to work hard alongside them to figure out a resolution to anything that comes our way.
We are problem solvers and seek ways to help students and families any way that we can. Dealing with the pandemic can bring you down if you let it. We know that it is important to lift one another up. I try to talk to each of them every day and say something positive. I love the quote, “In a world where you can be anything, Be Kind.” No matter what problems come our way, we try to listen with kindness and respond with kindness. It makes problem solving so much easier when we are kind.
Q: Do you know every child by name?
A: Knowing each child by name has been my goal as an administrator every year. Although knowing their names isn’t enough. Building relationships with each student is very important. When you build relationships, you build trust. Children flourish in an environment where there is a high amount of trust.
The late Rita Pierson once said, “Children don’t learn from people they don’t like.” I believe this is true and will always strive to have a school culture of love and trust that enables students to thrive.
Every child deserves a champion as a teacher. My prayer is that each day students walk in the doors at Purcell Elementary they know there are champions ready to accept them for who they are, love them unconditionally and teach them with all their might