Superintendent Eric Cunningham

Life has thrown us many challenges. Sometimes we get thrown so many curve balls it can be difficult to gauge what is normal.

Constantly ducking and dodging can lead to higher anxiety which impacts productivity and growth. What I have learned from the last 15 months is that challenges lead to opportunities and security comes from within. All problems become smaller when you don’t dodge them but embrace them. In Halifax County Schools we have learned to embrace our imperfections. By doing that we have learned to really enjoy the growth process.

There is an expression that says “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” This expression is used for someone who is too involved in the details of a problem and can’t see the big picture. COVID could have easily forced us to dig into the details and not take the risks needed to move forward. We embraced the idea of taking risks which led to better security. The best defense is a great offense. The safest course of action was to chart a new course and look for opportunities for expansion.

It can be difficult to zoom out and focus on the big picture. With so much going on we find we are annoyed by the things that slow us down. We are constantly trying to squeeze one more thing into our day. We forget to consider if the choices we make support a well-lived life and whether the life we are living will lead to a greater meaning for all of us. To have greater vision we need to pause and consider what we want in the future. For the past five years, we continually ask ourselves three questions: Where are we now, where are we going and how are we going to get there?

In Halifax County Schools, we have learned to embrace our imperfections and use them to build something new. This pandemic has turned into a “candemic.” We embraced a can-do attitude and said with one voice “let’s do it.” The results were remarkable! We witnessed our largest graduation in our empowerment zone and traditional high schools keep rolling ahead. We recognized that we needed to celebrate our retirees from last year and invited them for a great celebration outside on the lawn. We were worried that many would not show up, but guess what? They did and they had a great time. The total years of service from our retirees was 677 years. Amazing! Many said if they could continue to work they would.

This attitude has led to incremental successes. A greater number of our scholars have enrolled in colleges and universities. Many of our graduates have enlisted in the military which was made possible by the district establishing an Army JROTC program. The Lighthouse Energy Solar pre-apprentice program will allow 20 of our students to receive three certificates and earn a competitive wage.

Greenleaf Farm continues to thrive and this year we are giving away the produce to our families throughout Halifax County.

If you are interested in knowing where and when the next produce giveaway will be held, just go to our Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Mya Angelou said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” These words resonate daily throughout our district as we continue to provide educational opportunities for our students.

We learned to pivot when faced with hardship and adversity. We are Halifax Strong!