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IMPACT: Our Word Of The Year



Our word of the year is IMPACT and Carol Decker, Enumclaw resident and sepsis survivor, shared her story and what it means to have impact on others. Her powerful message will shape our work and have lasting impact through the years. We hope you will take a few moments to listen to Carol's words for us.

Carol Decker, Sepsis and DIC Survivor
Wow this is just such an honor for me to be here in my own community and to be in front of all of you who have such a great calling in life. I’m, gosh, I’m just really touched by Mike’s speech already. I’m ready to go do whatever he wants me to do, so [laughter]

I will tell you some of the life lessons that I’ve learned throughout my challenges and my experiences in life, and how they’ve helped me. And I want you, as teachers, to think about something in your life that has impacted you, whether it be a negative or a positive aspect. How that affected you, what you did with that, whether it’s still haunting you, or whether you decided to turn it into something positive.

As I tell you my challenges that I went through physically, emotionally, mentally that I have found over the years now lots of opportunities have come my way that I didn’t even know existed or that were going to happen and that I could have gone down multiple different paths and different directions with what happened to me because most people don’t survive from it. It’s about a 10 to 15 percent survival rate. I’m really lucky to be here today. I also had a fever of 106.9, so I’m glad that my brain works enough to speak to you. My kidneys started to shut down for a few days, and I was on dialysis and luckily they started working again. I’m just so grateful for the doctors and for the decision my husband had to make. He had to tell the doctors to amputate both my feet, my left hand, and my right ring finger.

The word impact to me, I did a little bit of research, and so I came up with this little thing in my head. The first three letters I.M.P. stand for important to me. There’s a quote I found from John Dewey, he was an American philosopher and an educator, he was a professor at Columbia and the University of Michigan back in the 20th century, and he has a quote in there that says, “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.” And that really stood out to me that each and every one of your students deserves to be important on an individual basis. And each and every one of you teachers deserves to be important. And we all want to be important, right? No matter what we’re doing, whether it’s our career or being a mother, we want to feel like what we’re doing is right and that we feel important in doing it. I think that kids need to feel that even more so because they’re looking for that expectation from us to get them to do certain things in their lives.

The last three letters of impact are A.C.T., and I believe that we need to act on our instincts more. That when you notice someone having a bad day we need to go over and talk to them and find out what’s going on and if they want to talk to you. Or give someone a compliment when you see they are wearing cute shoes or whatever. I feel like for me that people would call me out of the blue and they didn’t even know that maybe I was having a bad day or I needed to do something, and the next thing that you know they have done something for me that makes you feel important, that makes you feel special. And because of those, you know, acting on your instincts.

[logo: Enumclaw School District
Mission: Ensuring the equity of all students achieving at high levels]

Mike Nelson, Enumclaw School District Superintendent
And with that we are officially launching our school year, so welcome to the 2017-2018 school year. We’re starting! [cheering and applause]