We, at Illinois Virtual School, are beyond excited to begin another school year. However, for me, my excitement is even more profound because of the opportunity to serve as the next director. From the moment I began the interview process to the present, it is has been evident clearly to me what a special place IVS is.
Our entire team shares a profound and contagious passion toward online learning including an innate desire to serve all of our partners with a quality virtual learning experience. As I near the completion of my first month, I find myself reflecting over an observation I recently experienced which represents the inner workings of our program.
Last Saturday I was loading my groceries into the trunk, and I couldn’t help but observe a common action many of us are probably guilty of…..A man across the crowded parking lot had also finished loading the groceries in his car. Based on his facial expressions and pace, he appeared to be in a hurry. As he sat down in his vehicle, a few pennies had fallen out of his left pant pocket. (I observed him pause briefly and decide whether or not he should exit the car to gather the dropped pennies). He started to reach for one but realized the other rolled underneath a nearby car. He made a decision to leave the pennies and drive away.
I suspect we have all been guilty of this at one point in time. However, the act of leaving pennies on the ground represents a larger symbolic presence. This presence is where my reflection originates.
John Wooden was once quoted as saying:
“It’s the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen”.
My observations during the first 25 days at IVS have shown me the exemplary attention our team places on the little things. In order to ensure we provide our students with an authentic, engaging, and rigorous learning experience, we have to grab every penny off the ground including those that roll in uncomfortable places. Each detail, no matter how small, warrants an intentional focus because this is what our students deserve.
Each IVS student matters, all our students count, and every student may exceed learning expectations. Our IVS team has a shared bond toward these powerful beliefs and equally important, strives to model them through their daily actions.
The promise of this upcoming school year for students is vast and filled with tremendous opportunity. My pledge to you is we will continue to advocate for all of our students no matter how big or small the details are. This is what our team has demonstrated to me and this is what we will continue to uphold.
We look forward to continuing working alongside all of our partners, students, and families. Together, we will pursue the positive difference we all aspire to achieve for our learners.
So the next time you drop that penny on the ground, consider taking the time to pick it up. No corners may be cut. No detail related to the education of our students deserves to be left unattended. Let us share in the virtual journey together picking up each penny along our path.
Thank you to our IVS Team for showing me the “IVS Way”.
-Kip Pygman, IVS Director