I notice an excitement in the air at St. Joseph’s Indian School and a buzz of conversation when all the child services staff comes back for our all staff orientation. About half of our staff work year round, and half are on 9 month contracts. I’ve seen some houseparents and teachers over the summer as they worked in the day camps, summer school or in the summer homes. But some folks we’ve not seen since graduation in May. Just standing at the chapel doorway as folks streamed in for our opening prayer service brought many smiles, warm handshakes and hugs.
Today is the one time of the year when all our staff can be together with no kids to supervise. We used the day to discuss and move forward our strategic plan. Strategic planning is a lot of work. I feel tired and drained at the end of such days. Part of the struggle is the actual discernment – what is God calling us and asking of us? What direction should we move? The great principles always meet the reality of limitations and all the day-to-day duties that distract from longer range goals. It’s a comforting support to know that we’re not alone, but working together on this common project.
This year’s theme is Partnering brings inspiration, strength and commitment.
Seeing all of our staff gathered in one place gives me the opportunity for my annual “state of the union” address. It’s more a chance to introduce new people, highlight all the work that’s gone on over the summer, look ahead to where we hope to go, and try to inspire. If nothing else is remembered, I hope each employee feels themselves a valued and an important part of all that what we do here. It takes so many different skills and talents to make the work at St. Joseph’s Indian School possible.