Making a Difference

This post was written by Round Rock ISD Chief of Teaching & Learning, Mandy Estes. Connect with Mandy on Twitter to continue the conversation.

Many of my colleagues know that I have two favorite events that occur each year.  One of these, graduation, is fast approaching. On May 25th and 26th, I will be humbled and honored to sit on the stage of the HEB Center in Cedar Park to celebrate our students’ accomplishments. As I witness the cheers, tears, smiles, and hugs, I often reflect on the starfish story. It’s a simple parable about making a difference in the lives of others, which for many of us is the reason we chose to work as educators.  The story goes something like this…

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.

The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”

The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”

Each year as the clock winds down on another year and I reflect on our work, I find myself in awe of what we accomplish as a district team. Each student’s journey across the stage at graduation is a testament to the work of all 6,700+ RRISD employees. The teachers, bus drivers, nurses, counselors, librarians, custodians, principals, instructional coaches, educational assistants, and countless others along the way contribute to this day. It’s almost as if an invisible army, our RRISD family, is walking alongside our students, cheering them on as they accept their diplomas.

Thank you for reading, but more importantly, thank you for all you do in support of our students. You make a difference!