Superintendent's Article- March 1, 2021

Superintendent’s Article--March 1, 2021

As I walked away from the Leopard Arena this past weekend, I felt like a winner. I walked a little prouder. However, the game score on the score clock was not necessarily what dictated my mood. Sure, I was excited about the Leopard win over the Purcell Dragons, but the night before, I left equally lifted by the great effort of the Lindsay Leopardettes. I know that every Lindsay Leopard fan left the arena this weekend with a sense of pride and accomplishment. In the face of pandemic, financial setback, and horrific weather, Lindsay Leopards continue to do what we’ve always done—win and move forward. Coaches Walker and Kader are the faces currently leading the charge for Leopard Nation, but I could look around the arena and see evidence of support across our community. In our own school system, the baseball coaches, support personnel, football coaches, band directors, agriculture program leaders, elementary school teachers, I could go on and on— were there to lend their support to our teams. In addition, the community at large was there—the community who had just the week before supported a highly successful cake auction in the thousands of dollars to fund the extras that our basketball teams always enjoy. In this time of financial uncertainty, we administrators are more than humbled by the tremendous financial backing our community continues to provide.

I know everybody who walked away from the arena this weekend felt my same sense of satisfaction and success, like the former student who lovingly and meticulously swept the arena floor in preparation for the next game; the band member concessionaire who patiently filled the orders for the demanding crowd; the transportation director who daily sees that our students are safely delivered to school, back home again, and to events all over the state; the public address announcer; the athletic director; the cheer coach who monitored the support and enthusiasm of our state qualifying cheer squad; the people at the score table; the gate workers; and just the plain ordinary fans who were there to enjoy the game. This list could go on and on—parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, student supporters, school board members, and even the officials assigned by the state athletic association. We all came away from Leopard Arena this past weekend with a pride in what it means to be a Lindsay Leopard.

I had forgotten how loud and crowded Leopard Arena could be, but I was also reminded that there were lots of empty places—places left vacant by time and the pandemic. Charles Heatly, Doyle Greteman, Curtis Hayes and Wayne Yandell, the Ellithorps, the Blakemores, Dale Nye, H. O. and Diane Estes. These are the kind of people, and I could name many, many more, who have always been there when our school was in need. People like Bill Harrison who always responded to the request for help with, “What do you need?” When we were working to pass the bond issue to build Leopard Arena, Charlie Heatly in an interview said, “We build for the future!” He knew that the arena with his name would fade into the past, but he also believed in the mission statement of our school—preparing students for the future. Hopefully, some of our Lindsay faithful will return to the arena after the threat of the pandemic passes. Sadly, others will not. I can’t help but think that the ghosts of old Heatly Arena were also rocking this past weekend to the strains of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” the success of our efforts, the roar of the crowd, and the thrill of both personal and team victories. But, I know Coach Heatly and others before us would agree that it was the response of one of our own Lindsay fifth graders that was the most important—“We did it! We did it! We beat the Purcell Dragons!” He represents our future, and that is why Lindsay Schools continue to believe that our mission statement is what it is all about— “Empowering all studentsfor success in an every-changing world.”

In the next few days and weeks, go out and support the Leopards in the area basketball tournament, attend an FFA/4-H spring show, enjoy the fresh air of a track meet, catch a baseball or softball game, or simply listen for the excited noises of our elementary students at noon recess. Let’s go forward during this time of spring renewal with positive attitudes and the faith that eventually the pandemic will pass, the economy will begin an upward turn, and we will all return to that wonderful “normal.” Thank you LINDSAY SCHOOL PATRONS for making my job easier.

Dan Chapman