“Many hands make light work.” This adage has been running through my head lately as I have seen wonderful examples of cooperation and people pitching in to lighten others’ loads. Burden bearing is meant to be a shared thing; and even if something is a labor of love, doing the work together creates a meaningful bond. Let me offer just a few recent examples:

During two consecutive Tuesdays in May, around fifty people gathered in the Blake Fieldhouse Multipurpose Room to engage in strategic planning for Indianola CSD. Students, parents, community members, teachers, school administrators, and school board members worked side by side to capture the beliefs, vision, and mission of the school district. They crafted goals that were supported by theories of action that will lead to concrete actions and measurable results the next five years. The rich conversations, creativity, and passion people brought helped determine plans that will guide the district the next five years. June 8 the school board will take this work under consideration for approval. Currently the City of Indianola, Indianola Chamber of Commerce, and Simpson College are going through their own strategic planning processes; and representatives of all of these entities and Indianola CSD are meeting to discuss common aspirations for the city where we all work and learn and live. Many hands make light work.

May 24 was my first Indianola graduation experience as superintendent of schools. From set up to tear down, there was a high degree of organization, and everyone involved played a key role. The student speakers and staff keynote were great, the music was moving, the crowd was large and respectful, the graduates were accomplished and mature, and even the weather cooperated for people to take pictures outside afterwards. It was a great afternoon. Many hands make light work.

Wednesday, May 27, school district employees remembered two colleagues who passed away this year, recognized employees with years of service awards, and honored retiring staff. Several staff members collaborated with students to create a very meaningful video tribute for retirees. Others organized the program and ordered and distributed awards. Many people pitched in to create a collegial event, culminating with ice cream and a reception for retiring teachers. It was really great to see past retirees, retiring teachers, and current staff reminiscing and showing appreciation for each other. Many hands make light work.

Thursday and Friday, May 28-29, staff members and community volunteers rallied to empty Emerson Elementary completely, complete a move out of part of the high school, and check in hundreds of student lap tops. Other staff had been working in advance, starting the moving of furniture and handling logistics for Thursday and Friday. I marveled at the cooperation and good cheer on display as staff and community members worked extremely hard with smiles on their faces. What was accomplished as we wrapped up the school year was truly amazing. Many hands make light work.

I am extremely proud and humbled at the same time. I am proud to get to represent and serve Indianola CSD and to be a citizen of a special community. I am humbled every time I am reminded how much people give of themselves and every time I see how much can be accomplished by unselfish people working hard together. I don’t know that I really understood what, “Many hands make light work,” meant before this month, but now I have seen it happen before my eyes. Thanks, everyone!