By Brenda Becker

One word.  Can you really say anything in just one word?  One word is brief and concise, yet powerful.  I recently reread the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon.    This book challenges the reader to simplify his or her life and work by focusing on just one word for the entire year.  After thinking about this, I decided to poll some of our Maquoketa Valley students, parents, and staff to find the one word they would use to describe Maquoketa Valley.  It was refreshing!  It was motivating!  It was amazing!   One word can be incredibly gratifying.

The most common word chosen to describe Maquoketa Valley was family.  Even more interesting though, is the word family was used multiple times when speaking with parents, students, AND staff.  This word speaks volumes for the people who dedicate their lives to supporting our families and helping our children become the best they can be.  These people include not only the teachers and support staff, but also the bus drivers, custodians, cooks, school board members, coaches, office assistants, volunteers, and administrators.  Maquoketa Valley could not be the place it is without all of these people working together toward a common goal –  to ensure high levels of learning to empower all students for lifelong success.

The students had a plethora of adjectives to describe Maquoketa Valley in addition to family.  They used words such as awesome, fun, great, cool, and amazing.  They told me Maquoketa Valley was safe, respectful, friendly, and helpful. They used the words educational, creative, and smart.  Students even used the word home to describe Maquoketa Valley.  I am so proud to be a Wildcat!

The parents described Maquoketa Valley using words similar to the words used by our students – excellent and wonderful.  They also described Maquoketa Valley as strong, involved, connected, and clean.  Parents used the word quality and community.  I am honored to work with families that value our school district and characterize it in this way.

The Maquoketa Valley staff eagerly shared their thoughts on this topic.  Not only did they use the word family as the number one way to describe the district, they called it home.  They used the words welcoming, genuine, focused, dedicated, and team.   Words such as talent, pride, and support were shared to depict Maquoketa Valley.  It is a privilege to be part of the Maquoketa Valley Community School district.

One word is brief and concise, yet powerful.  One word – sometimes that is all you need because one word CAN speak volumes!​