Cecil Combs, Principal Jessie Clark Middle School

May 20, 2016

One Step Toward Changing The World

You may have heard this one, but I find that it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of it every once in a while. First let me tell you the story, and then we can talk about it.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.

He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

We all have the opportunity to help create positive change, but if you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself thinking, “I’m already really busy, and how much of a difference can I really make?” I think this is especially true when we’re talking about addressing massive social problems like tackling world hunger or finding a cure for cancer, but it pops up all of the time in our everyday lives, as well. So when I catch myself thinking that way, it helps to remember this story. You might not be able to change the entire world, but at least you can change a small part of it, for someone.

They say that one of the most common reasons we procrastinate is because we see the challenge before us as overwhelming, and that a good way to counter that is to break the big challenge down into smaller pieces and then take those one at a time–like one starfish at a time. And to that one starfish, it can make a world of difference.


May 20 8th Grade Dance

May 23 Choral Concert 6:30 pm

May 25 GFE Carnival

May 26 Last Day for Students

May 26 6th Grade to Gattitown

May 26 Move Up Day for 8th Grade

May 27 Closing Day


This week SPIRIT has soared and landed with Mrs. Becky Johnson. Mrs. Howells had this to say, "

I am thrilled to pass on Eagle to Becky Johnson, who has been in my life at Jessie Clark since I arrived, 11 years ago. Becky and I taught together on the Explorer Team for several years. When she returned from Michigan, the Jessie Clark family was beyond blessed to get Becky back. Kind, compassionate, unbelievably hard working and dedicated to her students then and now, Becky goes way beyond what is expected working many more hours than she is paid. I was lucky to have Becky with me last year in my social studies classroom and saw firsthand her expertise and professionalism with all students, but particularly those who most needed her help. Becky truly exemplifies the Spirit of Jessie Clark.”