T.R.A.C.K. President Bruce Kemp’s speech at the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the new Track facility at Oswayo Valley Middle-High School this morning, June 13, 2016.
Oswayo Valley’s Mission Statement to be: “Inspiring, developing, and empowering life-long learners to enrich the world.”
The only way this can be achieved is for the community to model those ideals so that the children will see this and then truly internalize and in the future go to emulate the values we have deemed important and set forward. Any teacher or parent knows that “Monkey see, Monkey do” is not just a cute saying but a foundation of education itself.
Everyone that is helping to bring the districts dream of a providing the community with new track facility is not only helping reinforce the mission statement for our children, but gets to benefit directly from them and can realize why they are the values chosen in the first place.
Ceremonies like these are often filled with a ton of thankyous — as is appropriate. Thanks should be showered on those that freely take on responsibility and liabilities that is not necessarily theirs to be burdened with. Turning your property into a Haunted House or Christmas tree sales lot, giving up weekends to put on 250 raffles, chicken BBQ’s, horse races, steak bakes, or give up a year of leisure time to construct a log cabin to be raffled off. I would love to be able take a time machine be witness to Filer working the room to inspire and convince us to tackle that one. I am still amazed he convinced so many intelligent adults that such a scheme was doable.
But for everyone that sacrificed, the thank you may or may not receive pales in comparison to what we personally gained from each experience we were a part of. We got to be part of dream, we got to inspired, we are the ones who learned and gained so many new skills, we were forged into better people, better community members, we were the ones who clearly benefited the most by being enriched by those challenges and most importantly by the friendships that we built.
All of it done so as to provide a facility that will let young people to create their own challenges. This facility will be the setting for future generations to continue to compete, achieve, and fail. It will allow them to have a chance to grow into community members that we want to work alongside of.
There is quote in the “Alchemist” that is about faith that I don’t even know if I believe but I know I want to. It says “For those that dare to chase a dream, the world will conspire to make it a reality”.
I so know that in this one case it is true. The board of directors and Administration dared to dream about providing opportunity and a new track facility placing in on the schools master plan. The T.R.A.C.K. group saw this bold decision (especially in a time of economic downturn), and conspired to to start to make it a reality. The project is far from complete or fully funded and thankfully still presents challenges that will need tackled and solved. I say thankfully because it is those challenges that will continue to enrich the lives of anyone that dares accept them and make the lives of everyone around them better.
Thank you to everyone that came out today, to Dr. Hartzell for organizing this ceremony, and to everyone that has given so much so selflessly.