October 7, 2018
Two weekends ago, I joined my father in Glens Falls, NY for the 46th annual Adirondack Balloon Festival. This is an event I’ve been attending since middle school, and in so many ways brings me back to one of the things most familiar to me, the world of hot air ballooning.
My father has been flying balloons for 36 years. When I was 4, my mother bought him a ride, thinking he’d get a kick out of it. An auto mechanic at the time, he started trading the balloon pilots repairs to their chase truck for flight lessons, and 2 years later, cobbled together his own chase van from junkyard parts, went in with two friends on a balloon purchase, and pretty quickly began selling rides to pay off the balloon and related expenses, recognizing the immediate contradiction between our family’s financial situation and the costs associated with flying an 8-story high bag of nylon around the New Jersey skies.
Ballooning has all the makings of a phenomenal learning experience. Judgement, decision making, a very in-depth relationship with meteorology, applied chemistry and physics, marketing and public relations… the list goes on and on. And that is where this story should lead… but that’s not where it does.
Friends, to this day, I am embarrassed by balloons. I find the very concept a source of shame, and even now, as a 40-year old school principal with access to one of the coolest sky-toys around, don’t like to talk about it much.
For a socially-awkward kid with glasses, curly hair, and a desire to spend more time with adults than peers, ballooning wasn’t something admirable, it was an easy target. Driving around a town filled with well-manicured lawns and impeccably maintained properties in a rusty bright green van with a balloon painted on the side wasn’t exactly welcomed, either.
Rather than becoming something I could share with friends, ballooning was one of the biggest weapons bullies had against me, and they used it frequently from age 6 to age 16. Pictures were drawn with my head as a balloon and circulated through the hallways, a balloon crew shirt brought for show and tell was defaced, and the numerous rumors and jokes about what one does in a balloon (honestly, you really just stand there and look at the scenery) filled the air.
My story is nothing shocking. As we enter October, “National Bullying Prevention Month”, countless kids in countless situations share the same story, of things they hold close to them turned to weapons against them.
We don’t need a designated month to erase bullying from schools, we need a lifetime of commitment. Here at Danville we are starting the process in various grade levels, led by our school counselors. The elementary classes will start our monthly meetings focusing on positive community building, the middle school is starting a series of lessons with Ms. Watrobski, the high school is focusing on student leadership and climate building.
I’d be lying to you if I said that was enough, but it’s a start, and as a staff, we are committed to doing our very best to create a culture of safety, of inclusion and of value for all members of our community. Kids can start to start to turn around a bullying situation by finding a trusted adult to communicate with. That adult can reassure them they’re not in it alone, and direct the information to those of us with responsibility and the tools to stop the problem. I stand with our entire staff in having an open door to any student who has a story that needs to be told.
Stopping bullying in schools requires quick and thorough contributions from the education, counseling and disciplinary worlds. Stopping bullying at its source in schools requires a commitment from us all, students and adults alike, to create and live in a community of trust and respect.
So, let’s go.
Principal, Danville School
Enchanted Forest Book Fair - October 9th through 13th
It's book fair week! Our Parent-Teacher Group is hosting a fall book fair, a great chance for kids to pick up some great new reading material. PTG members could still use a few more volunteers to make the event a success - please consider signing up for a slot here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0f48a4a728a7fe3-october
On Thursday, from 2:30-5:00, Kelly Robb, our Literacy Specialist, will be working at the cashier's station. This is a great opportunity to come early and chat with Kelly about some great reading options for your child.
Enchanted Forest Book Fair
Danville School Library
October 9 through October 13
(Saturday will be in the lobby)
Monday October 8 (SPORTS PHOTOS 7-12th Schedule to follow)
Varsity Girls Soccer vs Winooksi, 4:00
Middle School Girls @Twinfield, 4:00
Middle School Boys @Twinfield, 5:00
Tuesday October 9
Varsity Boys Soccer @Richford, 4:00
Wednesday October 10
Varsity Girls Soccer vs Richford, 4:00
3/4 Girls Soccer @Waterford, 4:00
Middle School/High School Cross-Country @Twinfield, 4:00
Thursday October 11
Varsity Boys Soccer vs Hazen, 4:00
Middle School Girls Soccer @Oxbow, 5:00
Middle School Boys Soccer @Oxbow, 5:00
Friday October 12
Saturday October 13
Varsity Girls Soccer vs Hazen, 11:00 Senior Day
Varsity Boys Soccer vs Oxbow, 1:30 Senior Day
Middle School/High School Cross-Country @Harwood, 10:00/12:00.
5/6 Girls and Boys Soccer @Soccer Fest in Haverhill, NH. Schedule TBA.
Sunday October 14
3/4 Girls and Boys Soccer @Soccer Fest in Haverhill, NH. Schedule TBA
Amazon and Price Chopper shoppers - Support our PTG
We also participate in Price Chopper's Tools for Schools program. Go to https://www.pricechopper.com/participating-schools and sign up your AdvantEdge card with our school code, 15408.