I’m sure that we all feel this way, but I’m grateful to be alive to experience yet another year. I remember being a child and not being able to fathom a year 2000 and then being able to consider a year 2010, but with grace and mercy, I’m here. Resolutions have never meant a great deal to me. I don’t like confinement, and deciding to make a change at one particular point of the year doesn’t quite do anything for me. I am proud of others, though, who see the start of a new year as a prime opportunity to do greater things. The start of 2009 brings some interesting challenges for me. As you grow in life, you learn that there’s not much purpose in complaining or ever giving up. You also learn that without the valley, there is no value in the mountain top. So I choose to use my valley experiences as chances to learn and grow. As you move into the new year, take some time to think about inspiration and motivation. Take a journey into the past. Go back beyond your first teaching job, past your graduation, to your first step along your current path. This is where you will find your inspiration. Reclaim this source and let it swell your heart with pride and your actions with purpose. Fuel the fires of inspiration. Ignite the flame of passion. Remember why you are here-your students.


Alia Henton-Williams
Director, 21st Century Programs