By Kraig Steinhoff, Superintendent
The word “home” has multiple definitions. According to Merriam-Webster (2019),
definitions include 1) “one’s place of residence,” 2) “a place of origin,” 3) “a familiar or usual setting: congenial environment.” I like all of these definitions and believe that Oakes Public Schools can be defined as a home for our students, staff, and community in multiple ways.
We live in different settings and have our version of a “home” outside of school. It is crucial for our school to be the home away from home for our students and staff. Our students spend thirteen years from K-12 before they embark on their journey to their next home. Many of our slogans reference home such as the “Home of the Tornadoes”.
My family includes a 14.5-year-old cat named Ginger. Ginger recently visited the local veterinarian. I took Ginger to the veterinarian in her pet carrier accompanied by my 4-year-old daughter. Ginger meowed the entire time she was in the carrier, and it was evident that she did not feel at home in her kennel. I prepped our kids before the vet visit that due to Ginger’s age she may not be coming back home. As we waited in the room for Ginger to get her blood work done, my daughter sat on my lap and did her best not to vocalize the tears that kept rolling down both of her cheeks. I kept wiping them away and worked to keep my own from doing the same. After a short while, the results were in, and Dr. Galbreath entered the room, bent down to look at my daughter and told her we could take Ginger home. The word home was compelling and stuck with me for the rest of the evening. It was inspiring to bring Ginger back home and to see her anxiety disappear as we let her out of her pet carrier in the entryway.
Each day, we enter our school home to prepare the students for their next home after graduation. I, for one, am blessed to be at home in Oakes. Ginger’s visit to the veterinarian reminded me just how fortunate I am to have a home that I get to attend each day and live out our mission of educating today’s students for tomorrow’s world.
“Home is where one starts from.” T.S. Eliot