The past two years as Superintendent have been filled with many school district highlights, but trips to Springfield and Columbia for state football were extremely exciting.

As an athlete in high school, I never played in a state championship game. As a coach, none of my teams ever played in a state championship game. As a building Principal, none of my athletic or extra-curricular teams ever made a championship game.

In my two years as Superintendent in Monroe City I have had a chance to watch two state championship games.

What a ride.

As a former teacher and coach, I find it important to teach kids the lessons of sportsmanship, teamwork, cooperation, work ethic, and determination.

These qualities will serve all of our students in their jobs and relationships as they get older.

Sports is all about learning life lessons.

A coach once told me that, “Character isn’t built when things are going well. Character is built when things in life aren’t going well.” I think this means, how do you handle life when it throws you a curve ball?

Saturday afternoon, the Panther Football Team was able to overcome adversity at times and work together for one common goal, a state championship.

Over the past two years I have been able to watch our coaches work with our student athletes of all levels. I have to say, I truly believe that our coaches are some of the best around.

Does this mean that they are going to make every athlete or parent happy? Well, the answer is no, but again, this is how character is built. Sometimes this means that our students have to work harder or ask the right questions.

As I watch our athletes interact with our coaches, I see mutual respect between all parties, and this makes me smile.

To our athletes, coaches, parents, staff, and community, what a ride this has been.

Go Panthers.