By the time this edition of Tiger Talk gets printed, Pine River-Backus will be almost done with the third week of the 2020-2021 school year. It has been an extremely busy three weeks. We have experienced many emotional ups and downs. I recently shared an observation with the Pine River-Backus staff comparing them to a village.

The village that comes together to raise a child, or in our case children. The village that shows the love, time and commitment it takes to raise a child(ren).

I later took some time to reflect on the statement, “It takes a village." We hear and use this expression with increased frequency. I started to think about what it means and where it came from. Maybe it is the elementary teacher in me, but I had to Google it.

I found several results for “it takes a village” - more than 94 million of them. The one I liked came from Wikipedia, which referred to it as an African proverb that means an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.

As my elementary mind continued to wander in this thought of “the village,” the children’s book "Stone Soup" kept popping into my mind.

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You know the story where each member of the community added a single item they were able to contribute such as meat, carrots or potato into a pot of hot water, which only had a stone. When all of the contributions were added, they discovered they made the most delicious soup together.

Each of us (student and teacher, child and adult) add a little to the pot that makes the village of Pine River-Backus Schools a very special place.

We will continue to face challenges along the way, such as cold temperatures and snow days, the cold and flu season, and let’s not forget COVID-19 and all the changes it has brought. Even with these changes, we have built new roads and crossed new bridges.

These new paths will give Pine River-Backus reasons to celebrate. We are working hard to deliver the very best education under new circumstances and exploring ways each of us can add an ingredient to the success of all. Together we continue to be a school and community that pridefully commits to the PR-B village.

Jonathan Clark is superintendent of Pine River-Backus Schools.