A message of gratitude from Superintendent Larry J. Leaven

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”

~Randy Pausch

Dear parents, students and members of the Florida community:

During a recent visit to Golden Hill a student asked me if I had a favorite holiday. I immediately responded, Thanksgiving. I was pressed further about why I answered so quickly and why I chose Thanksgiving over Christmas or the 4th of July. (The student was certain that I would choose gifts and snow or fireworks and warm weather over…turkey!) My answer was simple, Thanksgiving affords us the opportunity to slow down, to reconnect with family and friends and to reflect upon those things in our lives for which we are grateful.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Florida community alongside so many dedicated educators and hardworking staff. None of us were trained to navigate teaching and learning during a pandemic. It has required all of us to come together, to address the challenges of today, to model resilience and to
learn. While the world at times can feel a bit upside down, I am grateful to be able to engage in learning with children. For it is their joy, curiosity, and imagination that helps me make sense of the “upside down” and drives me to co-create a better tomorrow. I cannot overstate my gratitude to our students,
our families, and our school community for their ongoing resilience and adaptability. I strongly believe that our ability to face this ongoing pandemic will make us stronger in the years ahead.

It is my hope that this Thanksgiving will provide you the opportunity to pause and reflect upon those things for which you are grateful. I wish you and your family an enjoyable holiday and look forward to welcoming students back on Monday, November 29, 2021.

Gratefully yours,

Larry J. Leaven

Superintendent, Florida Union Free School District


Be Thankful – A Poem

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

~Author Unknown