Opinion

Commencement Address 2020

Members of the Board of Education, Superintendent Felmlee, Principal Van Deven, High School Faculty and Staff, Friends and Family, and last but not least, Members of the Class of 2020; Good afternoon. Today is the 30th anniversary of my high school graduation, and as such, it is also the 30th year in a row in

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Life Two Months into Staying at Home

As the world continues to struggle with how to deal with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, people are staying at home.  The longer we remain sheltered in place, the   more local our personal world becomes. The most vulnerable rarely leave home at all.   Groceries and medicines are ordered by

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You Are Not Alone

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, which gives me a good excuse to write about my favorite subject: Me. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Nearly 450 million people worldwide are currently living with a mental illness, yet nearly two thirds of people with a known mental illness never seek treatment.”

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The Common Ingredient that Connects Us

In its December 2014 magazine, National Geographic provided a link to an initiative exploring the future of food (natgeofood.com).  Revisiting this issue over five years later, its relevance is powerfully prescient and enlightening.  Findings have shown that there is enough food to go around, and that global undernourishment shouldn’t exist.  The world as a whole

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Teachers love students?

Several years ago, when I was subbing in Music at Southern Boone Primary School, a first grader approached me and whispered in my ear, “Mr. Naughton, I have loose stools.”  “Do you need to use the restroom?” I asked, with equal parts of concern and panic in my voice. “No, I just thought you should

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Stay at Home Cooking Memories that Feed the Spirit

My food memories of Stephenson’s old Apple Farm Restaurant go back to a spring road trip in the Midwest about 46 years ago— my final April in Omaha, Nebraska before beginning a new chapter of life teaching in Los Angeles.  My good friend Pat Fennell had invited me to accompany her on an adventure to

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A Meditation on Life with Fanny

By : Cathy Salter This final week of April as much of the country continues to be sheltering in, life at Boomerang Creek has settled into a pattern of familiar routines and moments reserved for reflection. Kit and I share life with an aging cat named Fanny, an abundance of songbirds, a multi-generational family of

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The President’s Speech Writer

By: Travis Naughton “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” –President John F. Kennedy One thing many of us can do to help our country during the coronavirus pandemic is to simply stay at home. I’ve done just that, leaving my house only once a

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Close Encounters in This Time of Covid-19

By: Cathy Salter This April has been unlike any other in our collective memory. Three weeks into April, the world remains in the grip of a coronavirus pandemic and staying home has become the most widely accepted path for flattening the curve. Because we are all in this together, we literally mask our fear and

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The Best and Worst School Year Ever

By: Travis Naughton As of today, 31 states have cancelled in-person classes for the remainder of the school year. Although it came as no surprise to me when Governor Parson made the difficult decision to do so here in Missouri, I was nevertheless devastated by the news. Having worked as a substitute teacher for seven

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