Hopes and thanks…

Do you ever find yourself wanting a “do-over?”  A delightful fifth grader stopped me this morning to visit and ask specifically about my hopes for Miller’s future (since he’s moving forward to middle school now!). 🙂  After a priceless conversation and great big hug, I made the rest of my rounds still pondering our talk, yet finding I wanted a “do-over” to my answer.  Here’s what I really want him to know:

  • We are hopefully raising the generation who will cure dreaded diseases like cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and others.
  • We are hopefully creating strong problem solvers in a world needing them.
  • We are hopefully encouraging UPstanders (not BYstanders) who stand UP to assist others and themselves.
  • We are building leaders who show compassion and kindness, serve and love others, share, and make the world a better place than they find it.

It’s true; each generation stands upon the shoulders of the previous one.  Our foundations are critical for future success (in school and in real life).  Thanks to each of you for providing the necessary tools and support for your learner and their classroom leader this year.  If it’s been a challenging year in your family or classroom situation, it is my hope we move forward to more positive horizons next year.  If you’ve had the BEST year every, here’s the challenge to take it a step higher next year!

I always tell parents we are here at Miller to serve our learning community; I sincerely mean this.  Please, if we do not meet a standard or expectation you have, we need to know.  Please help us better understand by offering solutions to the situation or problem, communicating a need we may have missed, or simply stopping by for a chat.  Parents, you remain our learning partners and participating members of our learning community at LME; we value and need you every step of the way!

Thank you for sharing your learner with us this year; we are blessed to have you in our lives.  Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who share time, talents, gifts, and services with us daily.  Thank you, our leaders of learners (classroom teachers, instructional aides, and staff), who give unconditionally in sometimes challenging situations to ensure student success.

My final hope for you and your family is that you enJOY a safe, fun-filled summer break doing the things you adore with the ones you hold dearest.  For those moving on, we wish you the best and want to know how things are going so please stay in touch; for those returning, we look forward to the time we’re back together once again.

Awards and Accolades!

Many thanks to our Kinder and first grade learners, their parents, and their classroom leaders who participated today in our two awards assemblies.  We are blessed with strong learners who work smart everyday to achieve their personal best.  Today was a celebration of their success in all areas.  One of our first grade friends summed it up:  “It’s been hard and fun and I’m so proud of me!”  🙂

We look forward to two more days of successes and celebrations (including our annual Clap-Out tradition for our fifth grade friends on Friday morning).  Here’s hoping you can join in the fun too!

Talents galore…

We are blessed at LME with talented learners, especially of the musical variety.  Our fourth and fifth graders spent the morning sharing their exceptional abilities with our students, friends, and families.  Multiple acts of singing, dancing, jump roping, gymnastics, martial arts, and much more graced the stage and front spotlight.  Many thanks to our specials team for supporting and introducing the acts (and even participating at the last minute, Coach Rogers).  Special thanks to our own PTO volunteer, Alisha, for ensuring the “show must go on” once again (and on short notice, too!).  We are appreciative of all who participated; you are Miller STARS with talents galore!  🙂

Note:  Awards Assemblies will take place the next three days in the Miller Cafe: Wednesday is Kinder @ 8:15 and 1st grade @ 9:00; Thursday is 2nd grade @ 8:15 and 3rd grade @ 9:00; Friday is 4th grade @ 8:15 and 5th grade @ 9:00.  We hope to see you there! 

Principal Luncheon!

Today was our semester Principal’s Luncheon to celebrate the high academic achievement of several of our LME learners during the second semester of this school year.  In attendance today were students from all grade levels who mastered their coursework with the highest grades, perfect attendance (no tardy or leave early status), and outstanding personal conduct daily.  This is an extraordinary school opportunity and something our learners work smart to achieve on a personal level.  We are grateful to Caroline’s Cafe for serving us during our outing today.  It was also our end-of-year party day, so there were many parent volunteers throughout our building…thanks to everyone for your time, creative talents, and service on behalf of our LME learners and their classroom leaders.  EnJOY a these pictures and a long weekend of fun and fellowship!  🙂

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Blow a bubble…

Here’s a personal tidbit you may not know:  I acquired a nickname as a very young girl.  Bubbles.  My close friends called me this name for a variety of reasons:  my guttural belly laugh, my sunny personality, and sometimes just because blowing bubbles brought JOY while swinging on the swings.  I gave bubbles as cheerful gifts for no reason—ways to make someone’s day or lift another person’s spirits, always buying bubbles for my personal treat when shopping with my mom.

As a principal, there’s a big basket filled with bubbles in my office.  Learners who visit with me often leave with a bottle as a reward for a job well-done or as a reminder to do what my Granny B. always reminded me:  “Don’t blow a gasket…blow a bubble.” 🙂  Mrs. Bass’ little grandson likes to visit my office when he stops by school—one guess where he goes first…

As we come to the last five days of this school year, I remind all of us to stop, take a deep breath, and don’t blow a gasket…blow a bubble!  🙂

Life is good!

It was a Monday AND a Tuesday on a Wednesday after a long holiday weekend (for some).  Seeing smiling faces, sharing high-fives, joking with our dads on duty, and starting our day with a positive morning message always the sets the tone for success; today was no exception.  While I didn’t have the opportunity for a complete walk-about, I did stop for a short visit with a particular group of learners who were discussing “Good life…or life is good?”

Their response journal charge for the day involved thinking about the ways life is good.  I heard things like:

  • Believe in yourself and others;
  • Make every moment count;
  • Do what you love and love what you do;
  • Be brave and take chances;
  • Be positive with yourself and others;
  • Celebrate differences and make a difference everyday;
  • Volunteer and make someone’s day;
  • Be a friend and work together;
  • Listen;
  • Think big and expect success.  (The list goes on…)

The final summation was the kicker for me:  “A good life is not lived by chance but by our choices, just like you say everyday, Mrs. Van…everyday is a good time to do good.”  🙂  (Oh my stars…they really DO listen to morning message!)  Here’s hoping you take some time to embrace the good life and to think for yourself about all the ways that LIFE IS GOOD!  🙂

Note:  Our CF team of fifth graders raised over $4,000 total and completed their Walk-for-a-Cure successfully on Sunday.  Thanks, LME, for giving your assistance to this important and personal endeavor!

MISD Showcase…Hollywood Style!

The big day is here and our learners are ready to dazzle you with their brilliance again this year!  It’s time for the annual Midlothian ISD Educational Showcase where learners present lessons and work from PK – 12 grades, all subjects and disciplines.  View the information here (studentflyer12).  We hope you will join us for an evening of engaging and meaningful MISD showcase opportunities…Hollywood Style!

Note: There is no school on Tuesday, May 22; we’ll see you back on Wed; May 23!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Our Kinder friends presented a precious musical last night to a packed Miller cafe.  Honestly, it’s hard to beat young learners singing, dancing, acting, and smiling; little ones are just natural performers and they literally cultivate great JOY for all!  Many thanks to their talented specials teachers and classroom leaders; enJOY these photos (thanks, Mrs. Nanney!):

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Ringers and Singers perform!

It goes without saying we are proud of all our LaRue Miller organizations and clubs.  Our Miller Ringers and Singers are certainly no exception and their outstanding talents were successfully showcased this week for our learning community to enJOY!  The Miller Ringers started the evening by chiming four challenging pieces:  Tranquil Chimings, Vive L’Amour, We Shall Overcome, and Finlandia.  Not only did they use two octaves of the handbells, but several of our musicians were ringing with both hands simultaneously!  If you’ve played handbells before, you know the complexity of what they are accomplishing here.

The Miller Singers (our fourth and fifth grade chorus) shared a variety of songs from around the world during their portion of this amazing concert:  It’s a Musical World, Fanga Alafia, Funiculi Funicula, Gong Xi, Sambalele, and She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain rounded out our evening performance.  Their costumes, dance moves, and enthusiasm were particularly noted throughout the performance.

Opportunities such as these musical offerings give several learners the chance to shine within their personal comfort zones.  I’m grateful to an outstanding fine arts and specials team who absolutely believe in the power of celebrating each child’s gifts.  This team rehearses and meets with students before and after school (outside the regular school day and curriculum) to practice with them in each area; they also support one another by offering personal time to assist during any performances or events.  Students must commit additional practice and study time with each group.  Whether a child is musical, athletic, artistic, a natural leader, or anything in between, our specials team ensures we provide multiple outlets to display these extraordinary talents.  Thanks, Miller Ringers and Singers, for sharing your musical offerings with us!

Note:  You can catch another performance of our Miller Ringers on Monday evening during the MISD Educational Showcase @ 6:00 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre.  Our Miller Hotsteppers Jump Team will showcase their talents @ 6:15 in the Koonce Gym . . . hope to see you there! 

Thanks, Dr. Stewart!

Please let it be known that our Midlothian ISD Superintendent, Dr. Jerome Stewart, is never afraid of the “hot seat.”  He especially relishes those rare opportunities to work with students whenever possible.  To quote him, “I love working with our learners; it’s why I do what I do.”  Our Miller Bell staff, under the direction of fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Campbell, invited him to campus as part of their research for an article in their final edition this school year.  Not only did he respond to their request that day, he showed up two hours later in order to meet in person with the team!  They were beyond thrilled to spend time with the chief executive of our district (the “boss of Mrs. Van” as one friend put it).  🙂  We can hardly wait to see what pearls of wisdom they gleaned, so be watching for The Miller Bell soon.  Thanks, Dr. Stewart!