NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) — Graduation Day.
It's one of Dr. Brad Krivohlavek's favorite days of the year.
The 60yearold grandfather is retiring from the Norfolk Public Schools board of education after 30 years of service. In those three decades, the finality of students reaching their goals and the fresh starts that brings has marked the years.
"The high point was always graduation," Krivohlavek told the Norfolk Daily News (http://bit.ly/1Bcpr29). "Sitting on that stage. Handing out diplomas. Talking to students.
"To see graduation take place, which is what we are trying to accomplish, and to see all of these young people going out into the world ... Hopefully you've helped them start their career, whatever it is, from that point on."
Krivohlavek was appointed to his first term on the board in 1984. The dental practice he opened in Norfolk in 1979 and will continue to operate was doing well, and Krivohlavek said he has always been interested in serving the community.
He decided education and helping kids was his niche.
"Education is the base of what we do in our lives," he said. "It really forms what we do later in life. You can make a difference being on the school board."
Especially spending 30 years on a school board.
Krivohlavek has seen lean budgets, massive changes in school curriculum and almost unfathomable advances in technology.
Gone are the days of teacher lectures and verbatim student recall on tests. Gone also, for the most part, are lines of students at community libraries waiting for a turn to use an encyclopedia.
Textbooks, too, are losing their luster as much of the information in them is outdated by years by the time they get to students.
"The biggest improvement is how kids learn now," Krivohlavek said. "If you want to learn about a topic, you can go and get the foremost information from the experts in the field. It's our obligation to enable kids and teach them how to use technology and use it properly."
Cyberbullying and sending inappropriate photos or texts need to be a focus for parents and school officials.
"I don't think students fully understand that that stuff just doesn't 'go away,' " he said.
But even after 30 years, kids are still kids, he said.
"They have a desire to become to whatever they want to be. With help, they will find that," Krivohlavek said.
Krivohlavek said that while he is not "in the trenches day to day like the folks directly involved in education," anyone who helps a child grow and succeed can be considered an educator.
"I learned a long time ago that the whole school experience isn't just in the classroom," he said. "That certainly is a huge part of it, but the process starts from the time a child gets on a school bus until they get home that night.
"You never know what part of that day or who made a difference in a student's life. It could be the bus driver, the food service people, a custodian or a teacher or a school nurse."
Krivohlavek said he would like to continue to be involved in education in some capacity in the future, but doesn't yet know exactly what his role might be. In the meantime, he will continue to play drums with a jazz group and spend more time in community theater. Tennis and golf are on the agenda when the weather breaks.
Most importantly, he will spend more time his wife, Brenda, a retired English teacher, and their children and grandchildren. After years of sacrifice and support, Kriviohlvek said, they more than deserve his thanks and a greater share of his time.
As for his first Monday night with no school board meeting?
"I could watch it on TV, on cable," Krivohlavek said, with a laugh. "It's going to be very different. I guess I really might watch it on TV. I've done it for 30 years. To stop, just like that, is going to be a surreal type of thing.
"But as my wife has told me, 'You'll be fine. It's somebody else's turn.' "
Information from: Norfolk Daily News, http://www.norfolkdailynews.com
This AP Member Exchange was shared by the Norfolk Daily News.
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