We thank our Urbandale High School 2018 Homecoming King for sharing his encouraging words this month. #beginswithU

"I always find it easiest to work towards a goal if I have a hero to look up to. Well, my hero is “me,” but ten years into the future. This future version of “me” will always be someone that I am striving to become, and someone that I strive to surpass. In ten years from now, he will still be ten years older than me, and I will still be following in his footsteps, fighting to become the best version of “me” that I can be."
- Jacob Sammon
An important part of well-being is helping students embrace the power of their authentic voice. In my role, it could involve patiently listening to students express their feelings on a difficult topic, offering up words of encouragement to help them better connect with their feelings, or facilitating a discussion with peers who may be struggling to move past a situation. Whatever the scenario may be, helping students connect with their authentic voice so they can express their thoughts and feelings is critical for growth and wellness.  

When we consider using our authentic voice to express ourselves, the concern about saying the wrong thing or not being able to find the right words starts to fade away. Shifting the focus from “what will they think” to “this is what I think” releases the burden of filtering our thoughts and feelings before we even have a chance to express them. I share with students that some days their authentic voice may be struggling and vulnerable, while other days it may be sure and confident. Same voice, different days, and that’s completely normal and okay. 

When I hear a statement from someone who is embracing his/her authentic voice, it gives me the unspoken permission to do the same. It reminds me to look for the message or lesson in feeling uncomfortable, to not follow in someone else’s footsteps if that means forsaking my own, and to accept that some days are just better than others. As parents and/or educators, I’d like to encourage you to explore your own authentic voice and for you to encourage your children and/or students to do the same. When we approach conversations with an authentic voice, we can rest assured that although the words we use may not always come out right, the meaning behind the words will always represent our truth.

Michele Hamilton
Coordinator of Student, Family & Community Services
hamiltonm@urbandaleschools.com 
(515) 402-8538
We're dedicated to providing accurate, timely, and meaningful communications with Urbandale families, staff, and community members. We understand the critical need for effective communication both internally and externally, and constantly strive to communicate in a way that is purposeful and authentic.

As we look to expand our social media presence, we'd like to hear from our families and staff regarding the social media tools you use most frequently. Currently, our district is on both Twitter and YouTube. Please click here to take this 1-question survey regarding your preference for social media platforms. The survey will be open until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 5. Thank you!




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Educational Equity Statement
It is the policy of the Urbandale Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, marital status (for program), ethnic background, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age (for employment), or socio-economic background (for program) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact the District office at 11152 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA or call 515-457-5000. The District’s Equity Coordinators are Dr. Keri Schlueter, Coordinator of Student Services (schlueterk@urbandaleschools.com), Mark Lane, Director of Human Resources (lanem@urbandaleschools.com), and Crista Carlile, Director of Teaching and Learning (carlilec@urbandaleschools.com).
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