It’s a doggy dog world

Another lovely weekend is in the books.  I walked I am estimating 5 miles or so over the two days.  I visited well over 300 homes in Verona dropping literature and trying to get my name out.   Following is a brief summary of the weekend.

Friday started my weekend campaign work with a really good visit with Ms. Taylor who is the principal of Glacier Edge Elementary School.   First, I must say that it is very easy to tell how invested in her students’ lives that she is.  In my hour with her talking about school needs and concerns, we were interrupted a few times by students who were coming to share birthday treats and provide hugs.  That was fine by me.  It was so easy to see why students have that connection to her.  I honestly felt like she was serving as mom to a number of kids, at least that’s how her approach came off.  From the little girl she encouraged to go put a coat on before going out to recess, to the many children she encountered on our school tour that hugged her every few stops Ms. Taylor is invested in her kid’s well-being.  I don’t feel it stops there.  Every teacher I met, every staff member had warm, welcoming smiles.  It truly was a great environment and I am so thankful for having been given the opportunity to be in the school to see that.  Again, it reassures for me that we have excellent people doing great things in our schools.

 Saturday morning I had the good fortune to meet with families in the Fitchburg area.  While I appreciate everyone I met, I really need to be thankful to Laurie Lodholz and her family for arranging the meet and greet session.  Not only did I meet Laurie, but I also met her husband Jim, daughter Maggie (so sorry if I got that wrong) who is now in college at UW-Madison and will be graduating with a degree in Non-profit Leadership.  I also got to meet their daughter Anna who is a fifth grader at Stoner Prairie.  Hope my girls turn out as well as theirs have.  What a great family.  I think the thing that Laurie said to me on Saturday that will stick with me most is that it is not that she has to agree with me 100% on every issue.  She just wants to know that someone cares and is willing to not only ask for feedback, but is willing to listen to the feedback.  I promised her that I do want to listen and that I will continue to listen.  I met a few other parents who have students in the VAIS charter school as well.  It was really good to hear from Colleen Chase about her daughter who is currently at Stoner Prairie and her younger sister who will be starting at VAIS in the fall.  I think it was very beneficial to hear her perspective as a parent who has supported both the area elementary and will support the charter school.  The session was valuable to me for a number of reasons, but mostly because again it reaffirms the commitment and dedication many parents have toward education.  They have good ideas and it reaffirms that what I am doing in trying to reach out to them can only help me as a board member.  So Laurie and Jim, thank you again.

 Saturday afternoon went to the dogs.  Literally, I didn’t realize how many people own dogs in Verona.  I love dogs and have enjoyed meeting many canine friends during my lit dropping time.  After the first few times out lit dropping, I hadn’t encountered many dogs that weren’t either with their owner in tow or barking at me from a window.  Many more dogs out and about with no owner close by and I feeling less comfortable with approaching was a recipe for bad.   Of course, the bad occurred when there was an owner present.  I saw this smaller dog on a leash in a yard.  It jumped up and was savagely barking so I thought, ok, I’ll skip that one.    Then the owner came out to his car so I thought ok, I’ll just go up and hand him an info card.  I must have misjudged the length of the chain.  Good thing I had jeans on because he didn’t puncture the denim, but the little thing tried to take a chunk out of my thigh.  It jumped and lunged and then bit.  Apparently the owner must not have been a supporter since he never said anything like “sorry about that.”   Lesson learned, don’t proceed until you know you are welcome and the dog is under control.

 Today was another great day.  I was over in the Jenna Dr., Westridge area dropping literature.  I hit quite a few houses and had some good conversations with families while I was out and about.  It is amazing how quickly three hours goes by.  I would have stayed out longer and done more, but I had taken my daughter with me initially.  I was able to have her stay with friends of ours for a few hours while I was out getting to a number of houses which was nice for her and me.  Thanks to Chad and Betsy for letting her hang out at your home.  I have a lot of ground to cover and will be using vacation time from work this week to get out and cover more.   So if anyone is looking for something to do, I always welcome the company. 

Thanks again to all of those who have helped and supported me.  We are in the home stretch.  If I can put out a brief reminder, if you think you may be gone on Election Day due to spring break, you can vote now.  Please go to city hall herein Verona between 9-4, M-F and cast your vote.  If you live in Fitchburg, you can do the same at City Hall in Fitchburg.

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About johnmmcculley

Father of three, currently serving in my first term on the Verona Area School Board. Hoping to help foster more open discussions about the future of education in my community.
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