Highlands School District
Assitant to the Superintendent
I can vividly recall from my childhood, the love my sister had for her stuffed animal, Snoopy, and the “Peanuts” characters. Still to this day, I can visualize her bedroom with Snoopy safely tucked away in her bed. While at the time I did not understand her love for Snoopy or “Peanuts” and assumed her devotion was some whimsical childhood game, I now see life through the eyes of my sister and truly understand the importance of Snoopy in her life, and what he means to all of us. My sister’s best friend was Snoopy. In the Peanuts cartoon, Snoopy’s best friend was a small bird named Woodstock; an unlikely friend for a hunting dog. What Snoopy and my sister understood was that relationships are built on trust and genuine care for the other person, dog, or yellow bird. Many times during her childhood, I witnessed my sister hosting tea parties with Snoopy, having him drive cars, or even flying; none of which Snoopy may have wanted to do, but he adapted. Snoopy possessed an essential characteristic of successful people, he was resilient and open to new ideas. Snoopy was an artist, hero, scout leader, dedicated friend to Charlie Brown (and my sister), Joe Cool, and when necessary “The Red Baron.” Being able to adapt to the present was a skill Snoopy mastered which provided him enjoyment in life as well as the creating a life he enjoyed. Lastly, as I would tip-toe past my sister’s door at night careful not to wake her, I observed her fast asleep surrounded by the company of Snoopy, Woodstock, and Belle (Snoopy’s Sister), there on her face was a serenity in knowing she was sounded by those that cared about her most. Snoopy, like my sister, understood the need to surround himself with good people, who are looking out for your best interest, which is calming and builds confidence. Did you ever see Snoopy sweat? Absolutely not! Snoopy surrounded himself with good people: musicians, athletes, family, boys, girls, and people of all races and creeds. Good people protect us and advise us even when times are tough such as when Snoopy dealt with bigotry when being denied entrance into several establishments with signs reading, “NO DOGS ALLOWED.” During the horrific time for Snoopy, those good people helped him the most.
To this day in my office, I have the Snoopy clock my sister gave me as a gift upon my hiring as a teacher. I did not realize when she was such a young girl how insightful she and Snoopy were. My Snoopy clock serves as a daily reminder of what Snoopy represents.
As we encounter the many challenges a school year presents, I ask that we all try to be a little more like Snoopy and his ideals, those same ideals my sister lovingly embraced as a young child. Let us all try to build relationships with each other based on kindness and trust, adapt to the present with resiliency, and lastly surround ourselves with good people. Together and with a little help from Snoopy, we can make a difference in the lives of the children we serve at Highlands.
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials…
the most money…or the most rewards. They simply are the ones…who care the most.