Young children learning about dental hygiene are told repeatedly they need to floss.
Fiftysomething superintendents, learning about leadership, probably are told flossing is not a wise thing to do. Superintendent Danny Massey flossed anyway.
The Brazosport ISD lifer has worked his way up from teacher to the top administrative office through skill and an endearing spirit that has made him popular in the classroom and campus hallways. Many still call him Coach Massey from his time leading subvarsity teams.
He is using that same spirit to accept fun challenges from students in the district, including going to Bess Brannen Elementary on Friday afternoon to accept the challenge of sisters Calli, Cooper and Kendall Dane to do the viral dance known as “flossing.” A week earlier, he returned to the campus he once led as principal, Lake Jackson Intermediate, to Hula Hoop with its power dance team. This afternoon, he will compete in a three-point contest with the Brazoswood Lady Bucs.
How does this advance education? In terms of raw data and state test scores, maybe not much. But it turns a student body spread across disparate cities and made up of varying demographics into a bonded community. It also shows no one is too important or busy to have a little fun with the people they lead.
We expect many more challenges to be thrown at Massey this school year, and we like his chances to succeed at all of them. Anyone who can handle what the Legislature throws at them should be up to handling anything posed by students, especially someone like Massey who is willing to loosen his tie to connect with students.
Angleton swimmers volunteer with purpose
Few people who haven’t dived into a pool for a competitive purpose understand just how much work is required to be a swim racer. Olympic champions such as Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky make it look easy, smooth strokes gliding through water.
For swimmers in the Special Olympics, very few things in life are easy. Some need assistance from other people to finish their event; some need an assistive device such as a kickboard to make it from one end of the pool to the other. Rarely does one of them finish without a smile on their face, having given their all.
Witnessing that mix of exhaustion and exuberance carried far more importance Saturday for the more than a dozen Angleton High School swimmers who took time out of their weekend to volunteer at the Special Olympics area aquatics meet in Sugar Land. The tasks they were asked to carry out, such as serving as a timer or helping escort swimmers to their event, were secondary to the experience.
“What I want our kids to see is that these are the same kids doing the same sport and working just as hard as they are,” said Jo Fojtik, a swim official whose son competes for the Wildcats.
It was an important learning opportunity for young people that many would not have in their everyday lives. People with special needs and physical limitations show a tenacity too often lacking in the average person. It also shows that there are things far more important than how many gold medals a person can collect. The spirit of the activity will be remembered long after who won.
“I just want to cheer them on and just hope these athletes accomplish their goals,” volunteer Shelby Schober said. “I am really hoping that I get some time to just watch them swim.”
Applause to the Angleton High swim teams’ volunteers for giving their time and hearts to those hardworking Special Olympics athletes.
No shame admitting mistake
The second line of the refrain to the iconic Lynard Skynard song “Sweet Home Alabama” reads, “Where the skies are so blue.”
The skies over the home of the Crimson Tide were in little danger of being anything but blue last weekend when President Donald Trump issued an ominous tweet about the state being in peril from Hurricane Dorian, which had just ravaged the Bahamas. Expert forecasters from inside and outside the government had said as much.
Dorian was a historically massive storm that at one point might have cut across Florida and tickled parts of southeast Alabama. That no longer was the case at the time of Trump’s tweet, but he deserves the benefit of the doubt if he had not been updated on the forecast in between holes of golf. People make mistakes, even presidents.
To have spent an entire week arguing that silly point instead of admitting fallibility — a week that included Dorian-spawned flooding in the country, a mass shooting and continued calls for U.S. intervention in Hong Kong — is less forgivable. It’s also not a media obsession prolonging the narrative.
The media did not invite itself into the Oval Office to see Sharpie-doctored maps. It didn’t hack Trump’s account to send out tweets saying he was right about Alabama being threatened. It had better things to do, such as covering the deaths in the Bahamas and flooding in North Carolina from Dorian.
Our president should have better things to do , too. Let’s get on with them already.