So, it’s that time again, where we ready ourselves for a much needed and well-deserved break. I’ve been in a number of schools lately, and the energy level is at an all time high, I’m sure. Whether it’s concerts, class or hallway decorating, or collecting food, money, or toys for those in need, our schools are beehives of activity — a time when I miss being in a school on a regular basis the most.

I’m always inspired at this time of year by the goodwill our staff and students show, and the hard work of our parents, school councils and community members to come together to make Christmas a wonderful time for our students and their families. For this, please accept my gratitude.

Within the flurry of activity that inevitably takes place at this time of year, I see many examples in our schools where staff and students alike model the principle of our character development initiative, Ubuntu — I am because of you. The work that goes into putting on the concerts, the parties, and the collection of items mentioned above doesn’t happen by accident, and I’d like to recognize everyone who goes the extra mile to make these things happen. Thank you — you are making a profound difference in our schools and in our communities at the same time. The learning that happens as a result of these things can’t necessarily be measured, but I’m certain it’s as important as anything we do in our schools, and will come back many times over in years to come as the young people in our schools learn the importance of kindness, generosity, and reaching out to those who might need a little extra help at this time of year.

The break will soon be upon us, and in the spirit of the season, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Whether you are traveling afar, or staying close to home, I hope you have time to relax, recharge, and refresh after the busy lead up to the break, and I hope you have many opportunities to enjoy the very best of the holiday season. I look forward to seeing everyone back in January.