As I was watching the Sabetha Lady Jays basketball team compete through the KSHSAA state tournament, I realized how grateful I am that our district’s teams have had the opportunity to create these memories with each other. Student athletes have participated, student performers have had the opportunity to perform, and most importantly, students have been learning in classrooms.

A year ago, Friday the 13th of March, marked the last day of the 2019-20 school year that we were in session. A year ago, Kansas schools that qualified for the state basketball tournament were not able to finish playing their seasons. I am grateful that this year, teams that qualified had this opportunity.

We have made it to the “spring break” point of our year. This has been accomplished because of the dedication of our staff. Normal school years see our staff stretched thin. COVID-related cleaning and procedures, not to mention the heightened anxiety from the virus itself as well as differing perceptions of risk have taken a toll on school personnel. All of our staff have worked through challenges that arise every year, but this year they also were confronted by COVID-related challenges. They have stepped up when we were short-staffed. They have risen to the challenge day after day, week after week.

I am grateful to our classified staff, teachers and coaches for their leadership and example. They have modeled “best practices” for all students. Their leadership has made it possible for our students to learn and to compete.

The opportunity to participate, especially participation at the State level, are examples of events we can be grateful our kids experienced. The challenges and frustrations that we face sometimes take all our focus. This is a great time to step back and look at the positives that have impacted our kids and families.

Last August when we started the school year, many considered completion of a winter sports season as a low probability prospect. I am very grateful that our students were able to finish their seasons. Congratulations Lady Jays on your Runner-Up finish at the 3A State Tournament.


Todd Evans27 Posts

Todd Evans currently serves as Superintendent of Prairie Hills USD No. 113 in Kansas. USD No. 113 operates Pre-K through 12 schools in the communities of Sabetha, Wetmore and Axtell.

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