In Case You’re Wondering: #PaintColors

Aug 3, 2016 | Messages from the Superintendent

Kevin Classroom horz

Superintendent Kevin Case

Every so often it becomes evident that it is time to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. In late June, the walls of my office at Mary Herbert Education Center were painted. The color of choice was “Modern Grey.” It looks more brown to me, but who am I to interfere with Sherwin Williams’ detailed process of choosing paint color names. I happened in on a Thursday afternoon and was really pleased with the new color.

As I walked down the hall, I noticed a small test patch that had been painted in the hallway. My first impression was that paint seemed to be way too dark. Upon further investigation, I found out that the hallway had also been painted “Modern Grey.” Same paint can, same painter’s, same roller, different location yet two very different colors. How can this happen?

As I started thinking more about this, I made a few connections between #PaintColors and how each of us has a unique view of the world.

  • First, when you decide to paint, everyone – I mean everyone – has an opinion about the color. “I love it.” “I like it.” “It is refreshing.” “It is too light.” “It is too dark.” “It is too grey.” “It looks kind of purple” … the list goes on. Everyone sees the same color on the wall. I don’t believe the color on the wall changes as people walk by. It is just that everyone looks at things through a different lens. The lens we look through determines what we see. The experiences we have had, our own specific pallette of what we like, and our personal feelings help shape whether or not we like something. As I listened to everyone share their thoughts, I began to question my original decision on the paint color. Input from those who surround us help shape how we think and allow us to think about and look at things differently. That input helps make our decisions the best they can possibly be. Ultimately, my office is “Modern Grey” and I love the color.
  • Second, lighting makes all the difference in the world. My office has three wonderful, large windows. A lot of natural light reflects off my newly painted walls and makes my office warm and glowing. The hallways, on the other hand, are textured, have no natural light, and are minimally lit with warm white fluorescent lighting, making the hallway paint seem dark. Where we spend our time or the type of light that we allow to shine in ultimately determines the color of the wall and our surroundings. The light that we allow around us either elevates us or brings us down. I am blessed to be surrounded with great people who work and come through the doors at Mary Herbert. I have truly enjoyed meeting many members from the Emporia community and many members of the Emporia Schools crew. You have truly helped “brighten” my office.
  • Third, the things that we surround ourselves with ultimately make a difference in how we see things. The pictures we put on the walls, the things that we hold close to us, and the accents we put on the walls help to personalize the space and give us ownership in the room. But ultimately the people that enter the office and hallways really brighten up the surroundings. What a great opportunity I have had to meet many wonderful people over this past month. Each and every one of these people have helped brighten my office and have brought with them their own special accent. The shade of the color in my office changes as people come and go and my thoughts and ideas gain momentum as a result of the input, thoughts and Ideas that each person brings to the table.

For me, the bottom line is that the color in my office for now will be “Modern Grey” until such time as we decide to paint over it. What I bring to the office and the hallways of Mary Herbert each and every day is a chance to make a difference. It is a conscious choice of what I decide to bring in the door with me every time I walk through ANY door.

I have been entrusted with the responsibility to provide leadership for Emporia Schools and the awesome staff that we have working at Emporia Schools. I take that responsibility seriously and know that all of my choices each and every day will have a direct impact on all who enter our doors.

The same is true with you! Know that every time you enter our school buildings you have the ability to brighten our buildings just a little bit. To help make things a little brighter. To ultimately make someone’s day whether that be your child, another parent or a 253 employee. We look forward to you bringing some light to our schools and are anticipating an awesome 2016-17 school year. I hope you choose to make “Modern Grey” a little brighter, a little warmer and ultimately a little better.

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