Superintendent Message - November 2020

Dr. Jon Holmen

The month of November brings with it a season of gratitude. At all levels of our district, staff take time to express gratitude and many times provide students the opportunity to engage in self-reflection and expressions of gratitude. Many times, these activities can be seen as displays of art, writing or specific actions connected to service learning or other community support/giving activities. These types of activities are directly connected to our mission and vision for students. 

Graduating students to be prepared for their future is both an academic and community-minded outcome. The LWSD Strategic Plan has a goal area focused on Well-Being. Providing students opportunities for reflection, empathy and giving is one way we can support student well-being.

There is a body of research that has studied the benefits of gratitude. While gratitude is an expression of thanks which seems unidirectional, it is actually equally beneficial to the individual receiving the expression of thanks as it is to the person offering it. Ultimately, gratitude leads to a more positive mindset and develops empathy. Both are significant aspects in student well-being.

Gratitude improves interpersonal relationships at home and work. The connection between gratitude and happiness is multi-dimensional. Expressing gratitude not only to others but also to ourselves, induces positive emotions, primarily happiness. By producing feelings of pleasure and contentment, gratitude impacts on our overall health and well-being as well. (M. Chowdhury 2020)

As an individual, member of a group, member of a family, and as part of the Lake Washington community; I encourage each us to take some time to reflect and express gratitude. As a community we are going through a significantly difficult period of time. Expressing those things we are thankful for helps our community well-being but also helps our own personal well-being.

Thank you,

Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent