March 22, 2016

Hand in Hand

Oftentimes, change isn’t easy for us as human beings. We seem to like things to remain status quo. Maybe one of the reasons is predictability brings with it a certain comfort level: Comfort in knowing what to expect. I sometimes wonder how much of our quest for that comfort level is part of God’s plan for us and how much is simply part of our own innate desires.

As parents, we spend a great deal of time watching our children grow: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It starts when they are newborn babies who can do little more than eat, sleep, and cry. Just when we get comfortable with their total dependency on us for everything, our children begin crawling, walking, and talking, and our responsibilities as parents change. And so it continues on from toddlerhood and early childhood to the teenage years, young adulthood, and beyond. Each stage ushers in developmental changes for our children which humbly leave us, as their parents, adjusting to something new.

The same can be said for a school setting like Everest. Even though Everest was founded more than 20 years ago, it is still evolving. Change is an inevitable part of that growth, and unfortunately, turnover is an inevitable part of that change. There are many types of turnover. There is turnover due to retirement or the job transfer of a spouse. There is also turnover as a result of responsibility changes and relocation. Even though these types of turnover are not welcomed, they are understandable. 

There is some turnover, however, that is both regrettable and difficult to understand. The type of turnover I am referring to occurs when a member of Everest leaves our community because they are not happy. Happiness is a state of mind, and as we know from our own family experiences, it doesn’t always represent a constant state. However, because we are committed to making it work, we don’t give up. We dialogue, try something different, and then dialogue again. As a parent, I recognize that children are one of the most important gifts we have been given by God. I know we care so much about them that emotions can often run high. Regardless, I think the key to moving past the unhappiness is dialogue and a desire to make things work. I am committed to both, and my door is always open.

I firmly believe Everest is unique in its recognition of parents as the primary educators of their children, and because of this, parents and the school should always work together to achieve the same goals. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, the desired result doesn’t always materialize. I recognize families come to Everest for a variety of reasons. If the decision is ever made to leave, I always hope the opportunity will exist to dialogue about it and better understand why the reasons changed. While I might not always like what I hear, I still need to hear it, so true growth can be achieved.

In the end, growth and change go hand in hand. It is not possible to experience one without the other. The same holds true for the gifts of God’s Love, Mercy, and Grace. His Love and Mercy go hand in hand with His Grace. For it is because of His Love and Mercy that He gives us His Grace, and it is because of His Grace that we have the ability to successfully navigate the changes that are an inevitable part of our lives. Without it, we might never become who He wants us to be.

In Gratitude,
Michael J. Nalepa






5935 Clarkston Rd.
Clarkston, MI 48348
Phone: 248-241-9012
Admissions: Maura Plante