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November 4, 2022

Superintendent message: photo of Tim Payne with Ephrata School District Logo

Greetings and good afternoon.

This UPDATE is intended to...

  • Remind us about last year's words of importance.
  • Build awareness of this year's.
  • Provide a space for me to share what I'm thinking about.
  • Generate thinking, conversation, awareness, and positive action.

This UPDATE is NOT intended to...

  • Be a comprehensive work
  • Be flawless, as I am not perfect

Last year's important words: 

  • Dignity, Unity, Belonging, CommUNITY

This year's emphasis - really, a life's work ("Go big or go home") is to develop an awareness of...

  • Two attitudes: Service & Thankfulness
  • Three ways we treat people: Love, Honor, & Respect
    • Who are we talking about? PEOPLE...ALL people
      • Babies to adults - no one is left out of this conversation.
      • Everyone NEEDS and deserves the words below.
  • How are we at Ephrata Schools developing awareness?  One communication/interaction at a time.
    • By calling "acts" out as they happen - positive and negative - using the words below.
      • Positive acts are easy.
      • Negative acts are more difficult, but powerful as well.
      • Acts shared - made evident to the individual - "in love" (positive heart motive/intent) are always best.
        • The opposite is sharing to put some down, to lift yourself up at someone' expense.  PLEASE DON'T DO THIS.
  • I was recently asked, "How far does your vision reach?"  My answer: "To every home, business, and person in the Ephrata School District."


  • Dignity -  worthy of honor and respect, self-respect, pride in oneself
  • Unity - togetherness, singleness of purpose, oneness, joined, whole
  • "Unity in commUNITY" - You can't have the word "community" without "unity"
  • Belonging -  feeling a sense of closeness and intimate relationships
  • Service - help others first
  • Thankfulness - show appreciation , being grateful
  • Love - showing care and concern for others, showing a great interest and pleasure
  • Honor - meaningful recognition, great esteem, adherence to what is right, great respect
  • Respect - treating others how you want to be treated, admiration, high regard, politeness

An Example Conversation: Ephrata School District Director Meeting Conversation

  • At October's monthly meeting we discussed what it means to be "helpful" as we serve.  I thought the ideas generated were powerful.
  • We didn't realize the multiple ways of "helping" until we slowed down and intentionally considered one another's perspective (this concept alone can preach). Our list included:
    • Problem-solving
    • Active listening
    • Demonstrating
    • Take off of someone else's plate
    • Empower
    • Develop/provide structure
  • What a great and powerful list.
  • We discussed how it takes "situational awareness" to know which one to apply when.  Situational awareness requires you to be "others oriented"; it's their need that you're trying to "help."
    • Others Oriented defined...
      • Not self-absorbed
      • Genuinely interested in someone else's thoughts, ideas, circumstances, needs
      • Seek first to understand
      • Maybe it's the momentary denial of one's own thoughts, ideas, circumstances, needs

An Example Email:  I sent the following email to our district's leadership team to continue building an awareness of LOVE

  • As we live and lead, we should have an attitude of service and thankfulness.  With (and because of) our good attitudes, we should treat people with LOVE, honor, and respect.
  • Love, as we defined it: "Showing care and concern for others."
  • A few thoughts/comments about LOVE:
    • Love is a "purpose" to be lived, not an "agenda" to be checked off. Therefore...
      • Live via purpose.
      • Be led by purpose daily, not agenda.
      • Love people with a purpose, because people are not agendas to be checked off.
    • What's your motive?
    • Are your actions motivated by love for others?
    • Love's motivation is giving and caring.
  • Why am I serving, being thankful, loving, honoring, respecting?
  • It all begins with a motive of love.
  • We "get to" love others...We don't "have to."
  • We commonly say, "Do it with love."  Based on purpose, we should say, "Do it because of love."  
    • If my very motive is love, then I'll do/act with love.

A pondering I have

  • Are these simply "nice words" from the Superintendent, or are they words that actually penetrate to make a difference in the lives of those who read them; therefore, hopefully, an entire commUNITY?

A Reminder

  • Ephrata School District exists for Kids and Learning

I believe

  • That if we (the commuUNITY of Ephrata) can truly have an attitude of service and thankfulness as we treat others with dignity, love, honor, and respect, then we will have a commUNITY that demonstrates belonging for ALL people; thus positioning us to be a beacon on a hill for all to see because our culture and climate are so bright.

Questions to Ponder & Reflect on

  • What are your values and beliefs?  How do the above words/comments fit in?
  • As a person, how do you "see/view" people?
  • Are you a "hearer" or a "doer?"
  • What can you begin doing today that makes it better for someone tomorrow?
  • We are all leaders, so what's your influence and associated impact?

Thank you for taking the time to read, reflect, and ponder my words.  Please provide me with thoughts/feedback.

With much love & respect,

Tim Payne
Superintendent, Ephrata Schools


It's good to be a Tiger!