Live Like Logan
As an administrative team, we have spent considerable time the past year focused on the development and implementation of our 2016-17 district goals… what we can commit to our Tiger families and students that we will deliver when it comes to their education. Our goals center on Growth, Innovation and Care; this is what we promise to provide for every Tiger. But – sometimes it works in reverse too...
At the 2016-17 Tiger Staff Opening Day, I had the opportunity to share the story of Logan. When we first met, it was Logan’s first day of kindergarten and my first day as a principal. Even at that tender, young age – Logan had already exceeded expectations; diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder – he was never supposed to make it out of the hospital when he was born. His condition left him with a litany of medical challenges and dozens of surgeries in his very short life. But the one part of him that was left unscathed was his personality – his charisma, his positive attitude, and his heart.
Every day Logan faced pain with a smile; he underwent transfusions with positivity, and physical limitations with an unbelievable sense of humor. He loved to study US history – especially the presidents. He always honored the military and paid respect to the police, fire and first responders. And he LOVED Elvis. His personality was magnetic; people were drawn to him. He met senators, presidential candidates and dignitaries. He was a spokesperson for the Developmental Disabilities tax levy, and was honored with a portrait that hung in Children's Hospital. It was my pleasure to serve as Logan's principal again in junior high, then become his friend as he moved on to high school and eventual graduation. When I would see him, Logan always made sure to tell me how happy he was that I was his friend. That feeling was mutual.
Unfortunately the daily medical challenges that Logan faced with class and enthusiasm caught up with him. This spring his body went into cardiac arrest, and he was on life support for a number of weeks. On April 21, Logan's body gave out and he passed away at the age of 19. At his funeral, there was an honor guard, countless doctors, politicians, police and fire professionals, and hundreds and hundreds of friends of Logan… including me.
That's not where Logan’s story ends.
This summer I received a note in the mail from his family. In the thick envelope I found Challenge Coins developed by his family to encourage all of his friends to Live Like Logan – to Be Happy, Hug Often, Love, Be Kind, and Go For It.
As we enter this school year with the privilege to work with the students of Loveland, we challenge each other to Live Like Logan. When we face difficult times or are asked to stretch beyond our comfort zone, it is good to remember that there was a little boy who had every reason give up, but never did. When my days get long and it is tough to stay positive, I will always remember that unmistakable voice telling me how happy he is to have me as a friend.
Thank you for entrusting us with your kids and giving us the opportunity to learn from the students who touch our lives. Together I know we will all have a fantastic 2016-17 school year.
Many Stripes; One Tiger –
Posted August 24, 2016
Photo caption: Loveland Assistant Superintendent Keith Koehne shakes hands with the source of his Tiger Staff Opening Day presentation, a former student named Logan.