POTTSTOWN PA – As Pottsgrove School District Superintendent Shellie Feola pulled a microphone across a conference room table to speak during the last Board of School Directors’ meeting, she held aloft in her free hand a sheaf of white paper. There were 11 different sheets, but all carried a singular message: “Thanks.”
The pages were letters from members of the Pottsgrove Middle School Lego Robotics team, which earlier this year traveled to California to compete in a national event that may well be a first showcase of America’s future scientists. They didn’t win there, but the mere fact that their talents transported them to the other side of the country made them winners here at home, Feola noted. Red-caped winners at that; the superintendent smiled as she showed off a photo of the participants in their best superhero poses (above).
These were exceedingly polite superheroes, too. Each one wrote his or her own message of gratitude to directors for their support and permission to attend. Feola particularly liked, and read aloud, the missive from Nene Okolo.
The trip, Okolo wrote, first “taught me that teamwork can take you a long way. We couldn’t have gotten anywhere in this competition without the collective effort of everyone in our team.” Second, Okolo added, because the team was named The Arthritis Avengers, it learned more about “the world of arthritis sufferers and what it takes for them to get through everyday activities.” Maybe, just maybe, its robotics work can someday prompt one of the 11 to find ways to ease that suffering, Okolo hinted.
Finally, the author wrote “this trip improved my confidence and socialization skills … Overall, I would say that competing for the first time in Lego Robotics opened my eyes to what can happen when you dream a little bigger and think a little more.”
And that, directors agreed before they adjourned, made the trip worthwhile.
Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ June 28 meeting):