Westwood Way

Happenings In Panther Nation - May 2021

During this stressful year, I have enjoyed sitting on my deck and watching the hummingbirds as they fly to our feeder. Last year, we had two hummingbirds coming to our feeder, but this year, we have had as many as five at one time!

I’m not sure if you have spent much time watching these little creatures, but they are amazing as they fly around and stop in midair. Their ability to perform complex aerial maneuvers is fascinating.

One behavior that has puzzled me is the way they chase one another away from the feeder. As I watched them, it seemed that hummingbirds hovering at the feeder were constantly being chased off. As I began watching them, I noticed that a hummingbird would sit in the tree near the feeder and wait till another hummingbird came up to the feeder, and then it would dive down and chase it off. As I continued watching, the attacking hummingbird was constantly changing, and it seemed that the attacking hummingbird would never drink from the feeder many times. It appeared that their only motive was to run the other hummingbirds away from the feeder.

One afternoon as I watched this activity, I began wondering if we do similar things? I know we don’t perch in trees and swoop down on people but do we do things that drive people off? Are we quick to jump into a conversation, shift the entire thing and begin talking about what we want to instead of embracing the current conversation? Are we guilty of entering a positive and uplifting conversation and sharing the most recent negative event that has occurred in our life? Have we ever listened quietly to a conversation and then begin sharing “what we heard about someone” after they walk away?

For the hummingbird, their behavior is driven by a survival instinct. In the wild, they will drive other hummingbirds away from their territory in fear that if too many of them are feeding on the same flowers, the nectar will be consumed, and they may have to fly a long distance to find other flowers. These birds do not have the capacity to realize that the feeders will be filled up, and they will always be able to feed themselves.

Fortunately, we have the ability to analyze our actions and behaviors and set a path to change them. After reflecting on this, I know that I am more aware of my words, actions, and intent as I enter into conversations. I focus on driving even deeper into the current conversation and extend it instead of shifting it to be about me. I search for uplifting words to share with others instead of sharing the negative in my life. And my goal is to curb the urge to share the latest tidbit of “news” shared with me.

Hopefully, the next time we are all at the “feeder,” we will not observe ourselves or others dive-bombing and trying to run others away!


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School Board Update

During the May Board Meeting, the following items came before the School Board:

Brenda Bing swore in Angela Choate and Leonard Armstrong.

Christine Bedre presented an overview of the Summer Extended Learning 2021 plans.

Kyle Johnson presented a Year To Date budget update and discussed possible one-time expenditures.

Kim Gilbreath presented the annual Health Services update.

Wade Stanford presented a Human Resources update.

Kyle Johnson presented an overview of ESSER III funds and informed the Board of Trustees of the intent to apply for these funds.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a revision that makes face coverings optional at the 2021 Graduation Ceremony.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the FSMC contract renewal for the 2021-2022 school year with SFE.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Board Goals as presented.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Superintendent to negotiate an offer regarding the purchase of real property and bring to the Board at a future meeting the results of the negotiations for consideration to purchase the property.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the current real estate agent representing the District to represent the District in the possible purchase of real property.