A Message from Mr. Vandemark Dec 5, 2019

Greetings Marksmen Families!


Growing up, we three boys used to call our mom the “Worry Wart”. (She would be the FIRST to tell you there was good reason!) She was constantly on the watch, worried about our safety and protection…as well as our manners. Mrs. Vandemark, my wife, would tell you I am not even a type B personality, more like a C or D. She on the other hand is definitely type A, she owns it. I often kid her that on some days she is a AA or AAA (like the batteries). Our 22 year old is a mini-me to her mom, which is a total compliment. She is going to make an outstanding educator very soon. Our son on the other hand is totally chill, laid back and way down the alphabet…life of the party, provides levity anywhere he goes!

Do you know an anxious or fidgety person? I find myself trying to calm this type of person…usually with a touch to their shoulder, a look in their eye, and a smile. Along with the following: “You’ve got this and if you don’t, we’ve got you.” A perfectionist can be a type of worrier. A supervisory friend is another type of worrier. That friend sees a need to oversee the things a friend does in areas of his/her life. Yet this has a tendency to breed distrust and low self-esteem in a friend, all because you’re worrying that things aren’t getting done your way. People pleasers worry about what other people think (especially of them). We can worry about the future. I’ve seen this cripple grown men. We can worry about providing for family and making ends meet. We can worry about our children growing up to be productive citizens, a significant worry for sure. Or perhaps do you have trouble getting to sleep because you’re worried about tomorrow?

We often say to ourselves, “I must be in control”. On the other hand, worry is usually about something we cannot control. I often have to remind myself of the following: Worry is a waste of time. It is non-productive. What does it truly accomplishment? (One can simply look at the color of my hair and wrinkles on my face and hands to know I have done some serious worrying in my time!) And why do we get so worked up with worry about things that are truly out of our control? Worry can damage your health, cause the object of your worry to consume your thoughts, disrupt your productivity (worry takes you away from the task-at-hand), negatively affect the way you treat others, and reduce your ability to trust others and yourself.

So I encourage you to stop dwelling on your challenges. Stop trying to fix things that are beyond your control. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals and learning to trust. Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow or yesterday is time wasted. Accept the things you can’t change, display courage in the things you can, and be wise to know the difference between the two. If all else fails, check out this song by Bobby McFerrin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU&scrlybrkr=38e2048f ; this song by Ferrell Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7dPqrmDWxs ; a classic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fahr069-fzE ; or one of Mr. V’s favorites by Neil Diamond: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzXt7YvK9Hw

Why bring up this worry topic?! Well, although we are in the season of Thanksgiving and celebration, it is also a stressful season: holidays are upon us, gifts will be purchased with bills to follow, kids will have a lot of down time for us as parents to manage, weather outside can be yucky, dreary skies with no color around, etc. So, I am broaching the subject and know that the next couple of weeks will focus on stress and anxiety with our kids…stay tuned and try to avoid the following, affectionately called the A.P.P.S – Annoyed Parent/People Season!.


Now let me follow with the “Best Thing(s) Mr. V Saw At Morse This Week”: 

  • We have just brought in a new kitchen manager and in order to properly train her, the district had a person over at Morse from another school to assist. Towards the end of her day asked to speak with me. I immediately thought, “Uh oh, what did one of our kids do / say?!” On the contrary, she shared that she has worked at many schools over the years and never had she been in one in which the kids were so polite: eye contact, warm greeting of “Hi!” or “Hello!”, smiles, “Please” and “Thank you”, “Have a great day”, and so on! She felt so appreciative and simply wanted to share. I told her we have great parents who provide us great kids who are led by great educators!

We are student centered and community strong – we are Morse!

Advocating for Students,


Steve Vandemark, principal


In addition, if you would like to keep up with upcoming events at Morse, simply click on the following link: https://district.bluevalleyk12.org/schools/elementary/mor/Pages/home.aspx


If you are seeking specifics from your child’s classroom or grade level, refer to the teacher’s weekly newsletter.