Starting Over

This past June I was transferred.

This meant starting over.

Starting over can be scary.

Starting over can be intimidating.

Starting over can be overwhelming.

Well, it was neither of these! It was neither of these for one reason and one reason only.

The staff at Sandy Hill Elementary School.

The staff at Sandy Hill Elementary has been nothing less than amazing. They have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel as if I have always been a part of their family. People have gone out of their way to make me feel good and I’m not simply talking about smiles and the usual pleasantries.

I mean the kind of feeling you get when you share new ideas and they are accepted and encouraged right away.

I mean the kind of feeling you get when someone complements your attitude and sincerely asks how you are able to always be so positive.

I mean the kind of feeling you get when someone greets you first thing in the morning and says, “I enjoy you”, and when they said it you got the feeling that they understood what you believe was good about yourself.

And while these moments helped me to feel to welcome, probably the most impressive thing I witnessed over the past two weeks was the staff’s ability to rally around a cause.

Several weeks ago we found out that a fellow staff member had cancer and was scheduled to have surgery within a few days. Without missing a beat, a staff member decided how we would show our support. She began taking orders for pink Strike Out Cancer tee shirts that we would wear at our county back to school kickoff event. What was so amazing was the fact that this she was able to pull this off in just a few days.

viki shirt

Sandy Hill Elementary School Staff

The following week we had an Open House like I had never experienced before. Students and parents came to school and got to meet their teacher and drop off some of their school supplies. Nothing different so far.

But after the Open House, we had a nine base kickball game involving parents, staff and students. Yes, you read that correctly. Nine base kickball! If you’ve never witnessed or experienced a nine base kickball game it is something to behold. It enables three teams to play at the same time. Parents, staff and students all had a blast.

During the game kids got to crunch on ice pops and enjoy the songs being played by our deejay, who also happens to be a staff member. The event wrapped up with parents and students randomly being awarded prizes.

kid kickball

Students Having Fun

kickball parents

Parents Having Fun

kickball staff

Staff Having Fun

everyone kickball

Everybody Having Fun

My first week concluded with an amazing PBIS Pep Rally that was amazing! We were fortunate enough to have Poe, the Baltimore Ravens’ mascot come and energize the event. And energize it he did!

Staff reinforced positive behavior by handing out golden tickets. Students receiving these golden tickets got to participate in games that involved hula hoops, footballs, giant feet and my favorite shaving cream shower caps and cheese balls.

Music was once again played by our very own deejay, staff and students were dancing and everyone left happy and excited to come back the next week. Wow!

poe with our dj

Poe with our deejay

poe cheese balls

Cheese Ball Activity

poe big foot

Big Foot Activity


I am fully aware of how lucky I am to join such an amazing family.

Starting over can be scary.

Starting over can be intimidating.

Starting over can be overwhelming.

Starting was neither of these things because of the amazing staff at Sandy Hill Elementary School.

Thank you!

sandy hill bee


  1. Jon, Congrats on having a great start to the year! Sandy Hill sounds like a great place to learn. It is always good to have a great faculty. I am sure they feel the same way about you and look forward to learning together. Thanks for sharing your story. Have a great weekend!

  2. This sounds like an amazing school, and I’m not surprised that you are there. There are no such thing as coincidences – you are there for a reason. It sounds like a place very much like you – positive, uplifting, motivating, and caring. Sounds like you (and the others) are in for a great year!

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