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Positivity Reinvents Us: Appreciation Celebration

file000410831036“Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” -French proverb

A couple of weeks ago when I was in a training at the Ceres Project they told us that they spend 25% of their time appreciating both what they have accomplished and the incredible amount of volunteer time, donations and good will that allowed it to happen. I was seriously struck by the 25% number and started to feel a little guilty about not being more appreciative for the thousands of hours of student volunteer time, the incredible generosity of community businesses, as well as the beauty and creativity that these companies have brought into the courtyard. So I decided to plan an Appreciation Celebration. Often, we wait too long to tell people how grateful we are. The idea that we need things to be finished or look perfect keeps us from focusing on how much has already been completed. Just making the list of all the people who gave their time and energy filled me with a deep appreciation of just how generous life can be. I can often be overwhelmed by this project and feel like I am carrying this heavy weight by myself, but as I started to list all the things that everyone gave and did, I realized that while my focused attention has been essential to moving forward, we really can do nothing on our own.

The news came by and shared the story and it was inspiring to see so many of our education leaders attend and feel appreciated as well. I share the list here because one meaningful way that we build community is by expressing our gratitude publicly for the support that is always around us. These are the positivity lessons that I am learning. Thanks that remains unspoken don’t help anyone…

Positive Change Courtyard
Appreciation Celebration – May 30, 2013

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity, willingness, creativity
& positive inspiration of all those who helped us make so much progress.

Jim Robinson, Daichi Design – This is his design come to life & master of the fountain

Roger Kennedy, RH Kennedy Concrete – Turning our concrete structures into works of art

Esteban Camacho Steffensena, Eco Muralist – Creating ocean vistas & bringing wildlife to life

Alec Dakers, Rainbow Valley Construction – Designing & helping us construct a roof over our tree

Jim Kiplinger, Rainscapes – Running big machinery & gifting us with irrigation

Jim Wildish, Wildish Inc. – Generously providing the gravel & dirt we are standing on

Willamette Graystone – Offering paver blocks for pennies including delivery!

Gary Wildish – Sound advice & direction of the engineering type

Alan Still – Heroic Parent who knows how to do everything & will always show us how

Lane Forest Products – Discounted Soil

Richard Collett, Eugene Monument – Support in creating all the memorial work

In grateful memory for Tom Kambiz – Robert Grimaud & the membership of the United Fellowship Church – who taught us what community volunteerism looks like

Thomas Wuest, Slocum Center – Leading all our fundraising efforts

C Sreang Hok – For telling a beautiful video story

Kickstarter Donators – For turning dreams into reality

Randy Bernstein, Principal & SEHS Administrators – For opening us up to new possibilities, finding solutions, & managing change

Ann Hettick, Club Lead Teacher – For a homebase, sustenance, support & friendship

National Honor Society Students – For showing up & being a reliable work force over & over

2012-2013 Axe Football Team – For moving 100 tons of Concrete out of the courtyard

2012-2013 Axe Rowing Team – For moving 100 tons of Gravel into the courtyard

Positive Change Club Parent Leaders: Ann Cole, Caroline Keen, Megan Wuest, Colleen Brandon – For the great idea, lending a helping hand, inspired fundraising,
& blessing us with gardening know-how

Wendy Strgar – Implementing the vision & instilling positivity

The Positive Change Club
For showing up above & beyond, for your continued cheerfulness & positive spirit, For selling wrist bands & T-shirts, For shoveling gravel & dirt, For always finding the time. For always bringing it back to Positive Change….

Executive Team Members are listed in bold. Thank you for bringing
order to the chaos, keeping kids inspired & always having more great ideas

2013 Seniors
• Amrit Nam Khalsa
• Claire Thallon
• Emma Fager
• Greg Gaffney-Bills
• Holly Chang-Northway
• Lincoln James
• Maia Watkins
• Quincy Gill
• Samier Waqar
• Shyam Das-Toke
• Taylor Bourne
• Walker Daniel

Positive Change Club Members
• Andy Ham
• Anna Ross
• Casey Brandon
• Colleen Brandon
• Connor Still
• Courtney Cappell
• David Lombardi
• Dillon Moran
• Emma Strgar
• Emmalynn Moore
• Ian Oakerson
• Isabel Moran
• Jasmine Keuter
• Katie Evans
• Luke Strgar
• Mackena Blacquiere
• Nicola Moore
• Niharika Sachdeva
• Wil Kiplinger
• Zoe Hughes
• Zoe Littlebury

2012 – Graduated Seniors:
• Calista Pegeder
• Cassidy Santiago
• McKenzie Snowdon
• Olivia Free
• Paul Picado Curtis
• Rose Sibilia-Young
• Sam Wuest
• Zac Neel