Attitude check: ‘Tell me something good!’

As the Iowa State Fair draws to a close each August, those of us who are passionate about our work in the field of education are anxious for the return of our faculty and students. Throughout Iowa Valley Community College District, there is an obvious renewed sense of excitement as our campuses become alive and we begin another academic year.

Across the entire country, schools at all levels are celebrating the new academic year through rituals such as All Staff Days, faculty workshops, student orientations, and convocations. Often times, these events are intended to “set the tone” for the months ahead, and we are no different. During our All Staff Day we focused on a theme of quality and positive attitudes. We recognized community members from across the District for their quality outreach and commitment to our colleges. We recognized faculty and staff who had gone “above and beyond the call of duty” in their various roles and responsibilities. Our commitment to quality begins with our employees and area partners, and the recipients of this year’s awards are more than deserving of being honored for quality and exemplary performance.

And finally, we spent time recalibrating our attitudes. There is a tremendous amount of negativity in the world right now. All you have to do is watch the newscasts during morning, noon, or evening to validate that statement. Our Iowa Valley team of employees has chosen to ignore the impact this can have on everyone by starting a conversation with, “Tell me something good!” As simple as this may seem, the positive affect this can have on our faculty, staff, and students is immeasurable.

To be able to work for the Iowa Valley Community College District is a privilege. I believe there is no other profession that is more important than educating people and providing them with the opportunity to improve their lives. They deserve and should expect quality service, teaching, learning, and positive attitudes. I am very fortunate to work with people who are committed to delivering just that.

It’s quite easy for me to respond to “Tell me something good,” because we have so many good and positive things to share about our colleges. We are going to have a great year. I take this opportunity to thank everyone throughout the Iowa Valley Community College District for their continued support of our colleges.

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Dr. Chris Duree is Chancellor of Iowa Valley Community College District, which operates Marshalltown Community College, Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Valley Continuing Education and Iowa Valley Grinnell.