We Win Some and Lose Some but the Learning Never Ends…

In the US and around the world, many people are sure passionate about their sports teams.  Some take it very seriously (maybe too seriously) and some are just loyal fans that love to follow their favorite teams.  I am probably somewhere in this mix!

We all love to win and we love our teams to win… But we have to accept the reality that we don’t always win!  When educational institutions sponsor athletic teams or other competitive activities such as speech, music or FFA, it is important to maintain a balanced perspective.  We want our students to experience success and win their share of contests.  But even more important is to never stop learning… Whether we win or lose, there is always a lesson to be learned.  It is always more fun to learn from our successes but some of the most important lessons in life are learned when things don’t go our way.

Within the past week I have (vicariously through my teams of choice) experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!

The Thrill of Victory

First- what could be better than having the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series AGAIN!  In fact, today which happens to be the opening day for the 2013 World Series, I had an opportunity to take a photo with one of the most dedicated Cardinal Fans in Maquoketa… none other than KMAQ’s – Station Manager, Leighton Hepker.

KPH and Leighton

I have known Leighton for over 35 years… His wife Cindy has taught Kindergarten in the Maquoketa School District for at least that long.  His sons both graduated from Maquoketa High School.  They were successful in academics and activities in high school and are now doing great things in their careers.

I have had the pleasure of working with Leighton as a coach, a building principal and for the past 13 years as the superintendent of the Maquoketa School District.  He is one who tells it like it is but has also been one of the most loyal supporters of our school district.  We are both huge Cardinal Fans… both St. Louis and Maquoketa!!!


The Agony of Defeat

Well… I might be one of just a handful of Cleveland Brown fans in Maquoketa or the whole state of Iowa for that matter.  I don’t know how it happened but I just jumped on that bandwagon in high school and never jumped off.  (That loyalty thing we value in rural Iowa.)

This past week I thought sure that the Browns could cover a 10-point spread against the Packers.  Yeah- I know it’s the Browns and I know it’s the Packers.  But things had been going so well since the Richardson trade…  And they didn’t have to win… they just had to cover a 10-point spread!  So in a moment of blind optimism, I made a friendly wager with our HS Custodian, Steve Starr who is a serious Packer fan.  The wager did not involve an exchange of funds (don’t believe in that) but rather… if the Browns covered the spread, Steve would be required to wear a Cleveland Browns jersey the day after the game.  On the other hand, if the Browns failed to cover…


As you can see— Steve is enjoying this Kodak Moment a little too much!

Steve Starr has been a dedicated member of our custodial staff for 29 years.  He is a familiar face to all of our High School students and staff.  Steve also serves as a Track Coach, operates the scoreboard for football games and helps at many other school events.

As the saying goes, we win some and we lose some…

You think I would learn!