As a house remodeler in my “other job,” taking a multi-level, sometimes multi-material floor and turning it into an aesthetically pleasing, functional foundation is a part of my work. Ideally, I use transition pieces that least interrupt the flow while enabling the floor to become one unit in purpose and beauty. Nonetheless, seams, while they may be minimized, will always be there.

It’s while I was struggling with a doorway transition that my thoughts turned to Fortis and how we’re in the midst of accomplishing the same goal. Many changes have occurred over the last few years and there will be more to come. These transitions, just like crossing a railroad track in your car, can sometimes be bumpy. But here, as in a home, the goal is to minimize the impact of transitions to be as gentle and smooth as possible.

Changes are a necessary part of growth and improvement, and our responsibility is to accept and work with the transitions knowing they are leading to a better end. If we remain relaxed and confident and trust that the process will achieve the desired goal, then not only are our lives less stressful, but the students are able to remain focused on their job – education. Plus we model for them how to cope with difficulties and challenges – another opportunity to teach.

This is only possible, however, if you know where Fortis is headed and what the result will be. For that reason, the next several weeks and all throughout the year, the newsletter will publish the vision and paint a clear picture of the educational goals and pedagogy that will be Fortis Academy. (And of course, the administrative doors are always open.)

Let’s take the time to develop a mental picture of the end result because, during times of transition, the end result is the proper focus. It’s too soon to be concerned about changes – we need to first allow the change to develop and work, and then evaluate the end result. In the meantime, I want to encourage us all to walk in peace and mercy, with understanding, patience, and compassion because the guarantee we already have is that your children are learning. How can I make that promise? Because of the blessing we have in the Fortis Academy teachers.

Talented, intelligent, loving – your teachers are an incredible group of dedicated educators who are ensuring that your children are learning. Give them your support and encouragement because the fact is, changes are harder on the teachers than anyone else involved. Let us honor and respect these wonderful individuals – trust them, work with them, offer your help because they are on the double duty of teaching while transitioning – a formidable task.
Let’s keep the Fortis family united and strong as we work toward a common goal. May the Lord be pleased with our actions as both individuals and a community.

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