Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
-Henry David Thoreau
Love Always Finds a Way – that was the title of the community forum held on a Saturday morning before school started in my new role as interim superintendent. Reverend A.J. Hamilton, respected member of the Tiger Family and a long-time advocate for civil rights in Cincinnati, wanted to gather community leaders to discuss how we might work together to ensure our community remained open to diverse opinions and provide a forum to discuss race, inclusion, and diversity in our community.
I wasn’t certain what to expect that morning, but what I found as I sat amongst the panel members was a unique opportunity to listen – and what I heard was a conversation centered on developing empathy that I knew needed to continue.
At the Loveland City School District, we talk a great deal about Tiger Care – it is one of our district’s “big three” goals, and perhaps it is the most difficult for us as educators to really define. Our ambition is that every Tiger will be cared for and supported. Our promise is that every Tiger will have the academic, social and emotional skills to plan and achieve, and that every Tiger will develop leadership skills and have opportunity to both lead and serve others. We want to achieve all of that – but, at the heart of the goal – it’s really about relationship building – developing empathy.
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Achieving this requires authentic communication, and story sharing – just like what happened at the community forum – the place where I became a student of history as told by those whose experience was different than my own.
I’ve taken what I learned that day and have started to make plans for our district to begin to dive deeper into developing opportunities for our students to develop empathy – to really understand Tiger Care. I will be working with Mosaic Church to shape a story sharing partnership for our students, the details of which are still to come.
I also want to thank the very person who began this conversation – Reverend Hamilton.
All members of the Tiger Family are invited to our Board Business Meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Loveland Intermediate School Media Center where our Board of Education will officially recognize Reverend Hamilton with the Superintendent’s Award for his devotion to the Loveland City Schools and his lifelong commitment to civil rights.
Photo caption: Reverend A.J. Hamilton at Love Always Finds a Way event. Thanks to Loveland Magazine for use of this image.
As I look for the first time in my educational career through the lens of a superintendent, I feel the weight of what we are tasked with teaching the 4,700 young Tigers we serve in a way I have not known before, during a moment in history that has been marked with separation. I believe in my heart that love does always find a way, and that is an important vision worth working toward as we Prepare Students for Tomorrow, Today.
In service to our Tigers,
Dr. Amy Crouse
Posted October 18, 2017