It was back to school for instructional staff on September 5th, Chatham Central School District’s Opening Conference Day. Along with giving our faculty an opportunity to collaborate with each other and prepare for the arrival of students on September 6th, the day served to bring all district employees together to celebrate the start of another school year and champion our mission as a public school district. During the day’s opening program, Superintendent Sal DeAngelo took the opportunity to roll out a new motto for our district based on that mission.
As employees arrived, they were surprised to see our district’s administrative team waiting for them outside, all wearing bright red t-shirts emblazoned with a large “E” and a small “2” with toes like a cat’s paw. On a row of tables were piled high more of the shirts, enough for every employee of the district and for the Board of Education members who had come out to be a part of the kick off. What it all meant would have to wait until a little later.
During his opening day address, Dr. DeAngelo explained that he and the district’s administrators had wanted to come up with something that was simple and easier to remember than a mission statement, a motto people could grab onto and run with. “Our business is one of hope and of optimism and potential,” Dr. DeAngelo said. “We are about everyone, every day.”
The administrative team put their creativity together and, borrowing a little from mathematics (E squared) and a little more from Chatham’s athletic uniforms, the “Everyone, Everyday” logo was born.
Research shows, Dr. DeAngelo explained, that when students have a real connection with their school – amongst its staff and with their peers – great things can happen. When students know their school is a place that cares about them, they are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, have better attendance and stay in school, have better graders, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. This is especially true for students who are at risk for feeling alienated and isolated. From our teachers, counselors, and coaches to our buildings & grounds, food service, transportation, IT and clerical staff, every employee has a separate responsibility and plays a different role in our students’ success.
“I feel it is true, to my very core, that it does take all of us,” Dr. DeAngelo concluded.
Before heading on to building and department meetings, or to their classrooms to prepare for the first day of classes, staff had a chance offer their views on “Everybody, Everyday” and what it means to them.
“I like the simplicity of it and it’s something that is easy to buy into,” said CHS social studies teacher Owen Poland. “It does a nice job of creating cohesion and I think it’s fantastic that all personnel from the district are involved.”
“It suits what we do,” added MED teaching assistant Natalie Hanson. “Everybody, every day. That’s what we do here.”
So when you see our E-squared logo – on a shirt a staff member is wearing, on a flyer in the hall, on our website – know that it symbolizes Chatham’s commitment to helping our students grow and succeed, every one of them, every day.