You Missed Out

The following speech was read at the last Board Meeting during public comment. The absence of the Board Majority has been noticed and felt at events all over the Jefferson County since the November 2013 election. Sometimes even the Superintendent neglects to show up. If you truly care about our schools and teachers, show up!  Your absence is not a collaborative way to Support Jeffco Kids or staff. 


Members of the Board of Education:


Considering the events of the past year and a half, a funny thing happened to me. I was told that I was doing a good job valuing people when I learned I was the recipient of a Values Award in that category. I was tickled to get the award. What I was more proud of; however, was that that I have worked very hard in my career in Jeffco to be known by my teammates, parents, and most importantly my students as someone who they could come to with any issue and I would drop everything and work through it together with them.


Well, that must be that case, because there I was on April 29th at the Values Awards ceremony, listening to some great speakers and music and just feeling darn appreciated. Mrs. Dahlkemper and Mrs. Fellman, it was great, right? I would ask the rest of you that question, but as you weren’t there, you couldn’t answer.
There was a palpable reaction to you not being there.


People noticed and they were shocked. I found myself feeling sad when you didn’t come. Not sad for us, but sad for you. You lost a real chance to be surrounded by people who love and are passionate about the job they do and the students they serve in a variety of capacities.


As the names scrolled across the screen, I saw names of people I know exhibit the four values highlighted by these awards. I also saw many names of people I know who could have easily been there. It really hit me that although 500-600 of us have the piece of paper stating that we demonstrate Jeffco’s values, there are so many other educators, paras, bus drivers, facilities people, etc. who are just as amazing. 


Now, I love to laugh and joke. I thought of a bunch of funny things to say to you tonight. But this isn’t funny. I get it. There’s a psychology there that you are using with us. You must be thinking that if educators get the message that they are not doing a good job, eventually that will be true. Well, I am here to tell you that in my case that will never be true. I care too much. I love this job. I care too deeply about these students, parents and teachers for that ever to be true. I know that is the case for so many others as well.


Let me tell you about the people in our building who received these awards in addition to me. Amy and Karen are probably up at this late hour still doing school work and special education reports. Bernie is probably in bed. But that is because he knocked himself out all day long helping our 5th and 6th graders and then coaching a number of youth athletic teams.


You have good people here. People are the backbone of education; which, in turn, is the backbone of a strong, productive society.


Don’t be so darn busy telling us how incompetent we all are that you completely close yourself off to how hard the village that is our district works to educate our children. You missed out at that awards ceremony. Don’t let that happen to you again.


Carolyn Wolfrum-Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing