A Stronger Constitution
In March 2020, World War II Veteran William "Bill" Lapschies had two major causes for celebration: He had survived COVID-19, and he turned 104. Yes, 104 years old and he survived Coronavirus.
I hope that you're fortunate to know someone who remembers or served in WWII. Maybe it was your father or grandfather or even grandmother (in the U.S. Navy, my grandma guarded German POWs) who served, returned home, rebuilt our country, and became known as The Greatest Generation.
Maybe your parents or grandparents were part of the support system keeping our country going, raising children on rations, and making true sacrifices during a national crisis. Whether your loved one was a hero abroad or a hero at home, you know that there was and is something special about the WWII generation: They have a stronger constitution.
In the last several weeks, we have seen things happen in our country that we never thought possible. This adversity has tested our constitution. I don't mean The Constitution of the United States of America, although that assertion could prompt a lively debate. By "constitution," I mean our structure, our framework, our composition. Were we built to withstand trials? Will we thrive amidst hardship? Or will we fold when disaster hits?
I'm hard-pressed to think of a person, a family, an organization, or a business who hasn't lost anything during this pandemic. Even The Foundry hasn't come away unscathed. We were forced to shut our doors, and we were faced with the choice of giving up on our standards or pushing through and finishing the school year ahead of our peers in other academic arenas. Fortunately, the Foundry's constitution is families just like yours who have taken pay cuts, lost jobs, faced uncertainty, and still provided your children with the opportunities to keep learning. The Foundry's constitution is teachers who truly believe that education is a game-changer and who didn't miss a beat in continuing to teach our students. Speaking of students, The Foundry's constitution is them. They have thrived during seemingly endless hours of virtual classes, virtual mentorship, virtual extracurriculars, virtual projects... without the true human student-to-student interaction they need and have been denied. The Foundry's constitution is a board who not only prepared for an inevitable financial setback in our community but is planning for the bright future that awaits our school next year and beyond.
In short, The Foundry's constitution is strong. If we were satisfied with folding under uncertainty or accepting the status quo in education because it's the "new normal," then we wouldn't be The Foundry. That said, we still have a lot to learn from the nonagenarian and centenarians who are the treasured last remnants of The Greatest Generation. They didn't become great by happy accident. They became great because of adversity, the likes of which I hope we never face. They overcame. They worked hard. They supported each other with kindness. They literally changed the world. Let's make them proud.