People Russo's Ramblings

Thank You Heim Middle

As I finish up this week at Heim Middle and get ready to begin my new position at district office, I wholeheartedly say thank you to all of the great people at Heim. It is hard to believe that I have been here nine years – wow did the time fly! Part of the reason for this is my children – those of you at Heim long enough have been part of their birth and growth. It seems like just yesterday when Adam and Anna visited as infants, and later came dressed up as a lion and tiger for Halloween when they were four and three. Now they just finished second grade and kindergarten, and it just gets faster.

I start by talking about my family because I consider myself incredibly fortunate, and proud, to say I am part of the Heim family. It is said often that Heim is a special place, and that is because it is. As you know, when you run into a Heim alum, they immediately start reminiscing about a memory here. A comment made many times that sticks out in my mind is when someone is asked to describe Heim in one word. Without hesitation the reply is “family.” Absolutely true. The members of the family change regularly, but like relatives, the Heim family has a special connection no matter where in the world they are.

We have made great progress in technology in the last nine years. When I first arrived, I remember that the number one task was to make sure there was an iMac (blueberry to be specific) in each classroom so teachers could do email. Jump to this year when teachers offer up a menu of technology choices for students to pick from for their projects. There are many reasons for the progress we have made, and the most significant one is the desire and willingness by the faculty to try new things and help each other out. We could never have done many of the things we did without many of you stepping up and sharing your expertise with your colleagues. Additionally, I attribute much of the progress in recent years to the district focus on incorporating technology. Major projects such as placing the projectors in every classroom could not happen without major district-wide direction.

Speaking of district-wide direction, that leads me to the topic of the new structure for the technology integrators next year. While it is true the middle schools will have less access to this resource than they have had in the past, the elementary and high schools will have more access, which is a good thing. I can tell you that the technology integrators team for next year is dynamite, and I know you will enjoy working with them when you have the opportunity. I hope that the new model of district technology integrators will lead to creating more such positions in the future.

As for me, I am thrilled to be taking on my new role as Instructional Specialist for Fine and Performing Arts, Business Education and Home and Careers (my son loves saying that). I know it is a surprise to some of you who did not know my background is music. Some people have said I am going back to my “roots.” Personally, I just think I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Maybe I’ll figure it out someday.

In any case, this is my way of trying to express how special a place Heim will always be to me.

Thank you Heim Middle. You have made me a better person. I am forever grateful for it.