Sandy Valley Local School District
5362 State Route 183 NE • Magnolia, OH 44643
Phone: 330-866-3339 • Fax: 330-866-5238
Message from the Superintendent
It has always been my pleasure to address the graduating classes with my message in Inside SV. I feel it gives me an opportunity to share some of what I may have learned in my life with those younger than me, and in essence, gives me a cause.
I would be remiss not to mention that a message for the Class of 2021 did not come easy this year. Not that I do not have something to say—that has never been an issue for me—but perhaps because of the magnitude of all that this class and their peers have had to experience already.
In a world where political unrest, pandemics, and civil injustice loom over us, fear tends to rear its ugly head. And fear often makes us hesitant.
So, to continue my cause of addressing the Class of 2021, let me first say that despite the adversity you have experienced, you graduated with four co-valedictorians and a record number of 22 cum laude students; you had record-setting sports seasons, the very first Sandy Valley student to receive the Canton Repository’s Teen of the Year award, multiple scholarship winners, career-tech students trained to enter the workforce, students willing to serve our country by entering the military, and so much more, which we have showcased on our website and Facebook page (www.svlocal.org; https://www.facebook.com/svlocalschools).
Second, I heard a story recently about a mom who sent her young daughter out to play. Mom had outfitted the child with knee pads and a helmet just to play in the yard. We often find ourselves trying to remove as many obstacles as we can for ourselves and those we love, but I would argue that the obstacles are what teach us the most. For you runners out there, it is running into that first hurdle that gives us the knowledge to clear the next.
But it takes courage and bravery to attempt something that may not be successful. You must show up to the game, fight for the cause, and learn to go at it without your armor. Just remember being vulnerable is scary and failing is okay. What I believe to be unacceptable is not making the attempt at all. Take up your cause. Your cause does not have to merit success to be effective. No one is without making mistakes for we all have something to learn, but when we cease to try, we lose our purpose.
I am reminded of the “man in the arena” quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
You showed up during a pandemic! You braved the storm. And I believe because you did, you will continue to dare greatly. Do not let the obstacles of this last year deter you. Allow them to teach you. Now, more than ever, I expect great things.
Congratulations, Class of 2021!
David J. Fischer
Sandy Valley Local Schools Mission Statement
The mission of the Sandy Valley Local School District is to provide an appropriate educational program and learning environment which will effectively meet the educational needs of its students and citizens and/or help its students accomplish educational goals which are significant, durable, and/or transferable.