Week of April 25, 2022

Dr. Jeff Perry

A few years ago, we were packing up items in my wife’s childhood home because we were moving to Morristown.  As you can imagine, there was an enormous amount of stuff that we had to go through and determine if it was going to Morristown or taking a trip to Goodwill.  It was difficult to make these decisions because so many of the items had little tangible value, but there was incredible sentimental value. 


We were looking through some things which were left in the truck owned by her father.  Among other things, we found a number of unused Bass Pro gift cards.  Her father had been saving those cards and was eventually going to buy something big.  Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer and passed quickly.  He was an avid fisherman and loved to spend time on the water.  Using those cards would have enabled him to purchase stuff he loved.  He was waiting for a special moment to use the cards but never had the chance.   


Those unused cards have always troubled me.  I have had many things in my life that I chose not to use because I was waiting for that special moment.  As I have grown older, I am becoming more convinced that every day is a special moment.  When I was a young boy, my mother had special plates and cups in a glass case.  We all understood those plates were never to be used unless it was a special situation.  Apparently, we never experienced a special event during my entire life because those plates were never used.  


Most of my hunting clothes have been with me for years and are well worn.  The majority are ripped, torn, and scarred from the multiple hunts we have experienced.  However, there was one special camouflaged rain jacket which I kept reserved for that special hunt. I paid a great deal of money for this rain jacket because we were hunting in Alaska, and it rained nearly every day.  I did not use this jacket during normal hunting seasons because it was reserved for that special hunt. I spent a number of rain-soaked days in an inferior rain jacket because I was saving my good one. Recently, we were packing some clothes for the upcoming move to Arkansas.  Apparently, the mice had expensive taste.  They had ignored all of the cheap clothing, but this rain jacket seemed to be the perfect material for building a nest.  The jacket was destroyed. 


We have all probably had a similar experience.  We hold certain things back for that special moment.  Unfortunately, we fail to realize that every single day is a special day, but we do not celebrate the moment.  I am concerned that we are so focused on waiting for the special day that we do not see the uniqueness of each day given to us.  We fail to appreciate that time with family and friends, although it may be routine and normal, is an incredibly special gift.  This understanding of how special a normal day can be lost on us when we are younger.  At a young age, we have forever, and we are invulnerable.  As we grow older and see the loss of friends, we gain a deeper appreciation of how special each day can be.  A friend once told me to drink deeply from the cup of life each day and to savor each drop.  Perhaps it would benefit us all if we saw the specialness of each day and treated it as being unique.      


Please review the following information and contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  Also, please remember to email Mrs. Webb (webbk@hcboe.net) if you have other questions you would like us to address in future articles. 



1.         Schools will be closed on May 3 for the primary elections.   


2.         For the past year, the USDA provided all students with free school meals, and there were no eligibility requirements.  However, this year, the USDA has made a decision to discontinue this process.  This means we will go back to determining eligibility based on income through the application process and/or direct certification.  These applications will be an online process for the upcoming school year and can be accessed on our HCDOE homepage beginning July 1, 2022.  In addition, we have been required by a federal audit to update our policies and procedures on how we handle school lunch-related issues.  Specifically, we have to be more rigid on charging for lunch.  Please make sure your child’s lunch accounts are paid and have money in them.  We sincerely appreciate your help in this matter. 


3.         Congratulations to Dr. Derek Voiles, assistant principal at Lincoln Middle School.  He was selected as the assistant principal of the year for the State of Tennessee!  This is a major recognition, and we are extremely proud of him.  


4.         The school year is quickly winding down, and most of the future events will be school-based for the month of May.  We will continue to post important information on our website, but this will be the penultimate School Matters article for this school year.  We will post a final end-of-the-year article, but please check our website for important information.  We hope the remainder of the school year is a good one, and we wish you the best!  


5.         Mrs. Jessica Darnell, human resource supervisor, has resigned to spend more time with her family.  Dr. Matt Drinnon has been selected to replace Mrs. Darnell.  We will start the process soon to find a principal at John Hay. 



If we knew the exact time of our passing, would this knowledge create a greater sense of urgency within us to embrace how special each day actually is?  Would we use the gift cards we have now, would we use the special plates simply because our granddaughter came over to eat hamburgers, and would we use our special rain jacket in a light mist if we understood our time here was finite?  All things will end, and one of the secrets to life may be to live every day as a special day.  In this manner, we can drink deeply from the cup of life and not leave so much unused stuff behind.  There may be a more important message which does not center around stuff.  Beyond mere tangible things, it may be more important to see relationships and time with those we love as being the most special.  We should all take the time to spend more time with those we love.  Thanks for your attention to this article and remember, School Matters!