A word from Superintendent Quintin Shepherd of the Victoria I.S.D.

Closing thoughts: Endings and beginnings
Dr Quintin Shepherd

A word from superintendent Quintin Shepherd of the Victoria I.S.D.

We are at that time of year when there are a lot of endings. Our seniors are coming to an end in their time with the Victoria Independent School District. All our students are ending their time in the current grade. We have teachers and staff who are coming to an end in their time as part of Team VISD. Trustee Pastor VanHook is not running for his board seat, and we recognized him at our meeting last week as his time on the board ends. Lots of endings everywhere you look. Perhaps you are coming to the end of something.

Personally, my youngest is set to graduate high school… talk about an ending. These events all feel bittersweet. A good definition of the emotion bittersweet comes from Marc Parent in Brene Brown’s book, Atlas of the Heart, “Bittersweet is appreciating life’s most precious moments and the unbearable awareness that those moments are passing.” This happens with every major milestone our kids go through, a death of a loved one who has been suffering, leaving a job that you loved but knowing that it is time to move on, moving, etc.

That first paragraph got heavy in a hurry so let’s take a quick aside as I regale a story from my childhood. Imagine an unopened loaf of bread. You know there are two slices everyone avoids. Nobody ever wants the end! Family lore is that the ends are my favorite pieces. In fact, I would dump the entire loaf on a table when I was young so I could get both pieces and make the best sandwich you could possibly imagine. I have no idea why, but I still love them. You all know I have a thing for words and this has been the case all my life. I have never liked endings. Endings are unsettling for me. Endings carry feelings that I mostly want to avoid. I decided these pieces of bread are not the end of the loaf, but the beginnings so I’ve always said, “save the beginning for me” which usually catches people off guard. I am on a personal quest to make sure everyone recognizes bread loaves have two beginnings.

Perhaps it is because we’re coming off the Easter season (talk about an ending that becomes a great beginning!), or maybe I’m just really hungry for a sandwich, but I imagine it is all these endings that have me thinking about beginnings. Yes, our students are coming to the end of something, but how exciting that they are also at the beginning of the next thing! Where endings carry emotions I generally try to avoid, beginnings are full of emotions I want to be near. Give me a beginning, lots of beginnings. With beginning comes potential. What could be more exciting than that?

Although some employees are moving on as they end their time with us, they are beginning the next chapter of their working life. This is awesome, and I’m so glad we have had the opportunity to be a part of their past. When someone has a great future in front of them, it becomes a real honor to be a part of their past. Trustee Pastor VanHook is beginning a new phase of his life and although we’re all going to miss him terribly because we love him, we are excited for this new beginning. Of course, graduation is the ultimate beginning, which is why the “&” is so important to us!!

If you happen to catch me at some of these end-of-year events and celebrations and see a big smile on my face, please know that it’s because I’m grateful to be a part of the beginning. After all, we’re just getting started!

By  Supt. Quintin Shepherd of the Victoria I.S.D.