Together We Flourish

Together We Flourish

Thrive…. or flourish?

“Good news, Martha!” I said, “Your submission of Together We Thrive was voted the favourite by the PAC executive team for our new community motto. You won the grand prize!”

“Oh.” limped out her reply.

The night before, the Exec team, without knowing who had submitted what, discussed, debated and voted on the 27 submissions from Van Horne’s community of parents in our New Motto contest.

Martha F. went on to spin a yarn about how – after she submitted her idea – she was walking in an airport and saw a huge HSBC ad sporting the exact same tagline. Martha and I both agreed that our community just couldn’t share a motto with a global bank. Back to the drawing board. “Move on, El Prez… ” said Martha “Go on without me”*.

* she didn’t actually say this.

Looking back at the submissions, we noticed Scott M.’s submission had a similar vibe to it, but instead of “thrive”, he used the word “flourish”. Scott’s suggestion was:

All together, helping the next generation flourish in mind, body and heart.

What a lovely sentiment. I agree with all those things.

I was disappointed, if I’m being honest. I preferred the word “thrive”. But then I looked up the definition of “flourish” via this little known search engine called Google:

(of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.

How perfect for the parent/guardian part of a school community! Helping the living organisms (that we call children) grow and develop is precisely our raison d’etre. Supporting and generating a ‘favourable environment’, I would argue, is the driving purpose behind every decision we make as a school community. It’s the reason why Parent Advisory Councils exist in the first place: to help our kids grow up well.

Alright, I decided, I can live with “flourish”. A quick conversation in the #executive Slack channel (email chair (at) van horne pac (dot) com if you’d like to join us there) yielded agreement.

Then we debated what to do about the prizes. We eventually settled on splitting the grand prize as equitably as possible between Martha F. (who probably subliminally saw or heard a dozen HSBC ads before submitting her idea) and Scott M., who perfectly captured the essence of a PAC and rescued the day with, shall we say, a flourish.

We split the grand prize into two relatively equal portions (with some details to be worked out, such as, for example, the window to order Wildcats gear has passed until the Fall. Oops!):

$100 GAP gift certificate
Lunch with PAC President & Principal Leung
$25 Earls
$150 in merch credit or cash
Lunch with PAC President & Principal Leung
Candy jars

Let’s hear it for Martha and Scott, you stellar living organisms, you.

I also want to shine some light on two other submissions that the Exec team really liked.

Evan H., who almost clinched the whole thing, submitted:

“Where everyone thrives and makes a difference”

And Warren M., who submitted:

“Supporting our kids, the school, and each other”

Yes, yes and Yes! Evan won Free Bread for a Year from COBS on Main St. (supplied by my friends Melissa & Andrew) and Warren won a limited edition Wildcats hat (supplied by uber-dad Tim L.).

Also special thanks to others who participated: Amy M., Lisa E., Gaby R., Remy G., Tim L., Gabriel G., Tracy W., Eugene M., Mariana P., William P., Shannon M., & Sandra B. Special shout out to Gabriel G. who channeled Grandpa Simpson with a humorous soliloquy that went way over the recommended word count. I, young lad, was once you.

Each of the above humans is living proof that together we flourish.

What community value matters most to [them]?

Let me leave with you some nerdy data. The pie chart below shows what Van Horne community value (Making a difference, Cooperation, Transparency & Inclusion) matters most to those who entered the new motto contest.

Yours in community,

Gregg Sayer
President / Chair
Van Horne PAC

P.S. While I have your eyeballs, please plant the following into your brain:

  • Toys: Save any lightly loved toys from your spring cleaning for the upcoming Carnival Prize Toy Drive! (Because cheap plastic prizes will get dumped into the landfill and will outlast our kid’s kid’s kid’s kids).
  • COBS: Mention Van Horne Elementary when you shop at COBS on Main St. (Because they have yummy bread AND because they support their local community AND because we earn 5%).
  • Amazon: First surf to before completing your next Amazon purchase (or tell your colleague who purchases all your company’s supplies)(Because the PAC earns a %).

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