Return to Headlines

A note from Superintendent Swanson | November 16

Dear Community,

As we head into the Thanksgiving break, I decided to use this space to say a big thank you to the entire Westminster Public Schools family and remind all of us to focus on one of my favorite words:

Gratitude.

The publication “Psychology Today” defines gratitude as the expression of appreciation for what one has, an affirmation of goodness and warmth.

The focus is not on what is lacking or what you do not have but instead on what you do have.

I saw a great deal of gratitude from people impacted by the fires in Boulder County at the very beginning of 2022. Some members of our WPS family lost almost everything in the fires. Amid their shock and sadness, they took time to tell me how appreciative they were of the financial and emotional support they received from their co-workers.

I was not surprised but filled with gratitude.

While the fire was an extreme example, I hope we can always remember to appreciate everyday things.

  • The bus driver who takes time to get to know his students and recognizes when one of them is having a bad day.
  • A culinary services worker who shares a smile with a student in the lunch line.
  • A teacher who goes above and beyond to help a struggling student or praise someone who has succeeded.
  • Our senior citizens who volunteer their time to help students become better readers.

Researchers tell us that laboratory brain scans show that specific parts of the brain are involved in experiencing and expressing gratitude. We have also learned that the more you do it, the more profound the sense of positive emotions. 

That is what scientists tell us, but sometimes an idea is best understood in the simplest of words. My favorite phrase is to share an “Attitude of Gratitude.”

Every day next week, we will be sharing meaningful quotes about gratitude on our WPS social media pages.

I encourage you to send your favorite to communications@westminsterpublicschools.org.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family and share that sense of gratitude.

Kindest regards, 

Dr. Pamela Swanson
Superintendent of Schools