A touching thought

Bill Gerth, the Director of Education for the Waterloo Region District School Board, died on December 23, 2006. I never knew him, but was made aware of his passing this afternoon. I looked up the news story on the Web, and found that his last memo to staff members–sent just before he died–was published in The Record.

I read recently that Ebenezer Scrooge was unhappy not because of a failure to get — after all, he was rich — but to give. I would submit that if this analysis is accurate, we must have some happy staff because you give all the time. Every single day I witness hard working, caring, committed staff who are giving more than can be reasonably expected. Even more laudable is the fact that it does not even occur to most of you that you are giving extra . . . it is just what you do.

Thank you for this. Thank you for the gift of yourselves and for wanting the best for our students. Waterloo Region District School Board is a great system because of our wonderful staff. Waterloo Region District School Board is a great system because of you!

My wish for you at this time of year is that you have a well-deserved, relaxing holiday spent in the company of those that you love. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays.

This world is most certainly poorer for the loss of Mr. Gerth. His words beautifully captures the spirit of giving, and I would be remiss if I didn’t preserve it for future remembrance.