As I enjoyed my lunch today, I took to the time to catch up on social media. It was an unusual day on social media as many folks were sharing their thankfulness for others’ safety after the tornadoes last night.

Two of my favorites were a post by my wife and one by my daughter. I am probably a bit biased.

First, I read Renee’s post about her and her teaching partners’ journey home last night from Jefferson City. At the end of a long day, complicated by delays and a stop at a Springfield hotel for shelter of the students and chaperones, the teachers were thankful that God had slowed them down enough to NOT be on a stretch of I-44 with no place to take shelter.

I am grateful that teachers all across this country do whatever it takes to care for the students in their care, and that students who have expectations placed upon them behave like champions when situations call for their best.

It just so happened that my daughter’s blog was also posted today. Shelby’s posts are an ongoing series of Letters of Gratitude. In our world of what is next and how soon can I get there, it is refreshing to see a young adult stopping to recognize the kindness displayed by those around them even when it doesn’t involve them, the value in breathing in fresh, country air, and recognizing and appreciating those who have talents in other areas.

We should all be grateful this morning. There were some without electricity when the sun broke this morning, but there were others who awoke this morning with the understanding they would have to rebuild before even worrying about electricity.

However, it appears from all accounts that no lives were lost. For this we can be thankful.

Finally, one of the things for which I am most grateful is getting to work in a vocation that is filled with people who are givers and nurturers. This past week I was able to recognize three people who fit this description and are proud of Seneca and our students.

Whitney Roark (K-6) and Angel Roller (7-12) were named Teachers of the Year. Tracy Barnes (Intermediate secretary) was named the Support Staff Person of the Year. Comments from the folks who nominated these ladies made it clear that they were committed to our students’ well-being, education and futures.

Having been around educators my entire life, I can attest that these folks care about other peoples’ children the same way they care about their own. They will be honored at the Foundation Banquet on April 28. Tickets to the banquet are still available.

Please take time to thank and congratulate these ladies. Also, I challenge us all to take a few minutes each day to pick out some things for which we are thankful. Have a great weekend!

By Dr. Jim Cummins

(Dr. Jim Cummins is superintendent of the Seneca R-7 School District. He can be reached at


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