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What have you purposed to do in 2014? Don't let the fact that 2014 means you are another year older hold you back. After all, you are valuable no matter your age and you can age purposefully.

One of the areas where I am trying to age purposefully in 2014 is as president of the Carroll Lutheran School board of trustees. With all my years of teaching and administering school programs, I have never taught grades K to 8. In fact, when I was interviewing to become an English chair in the Baltimore County Public School system, I said that I would not accept a position in a middle school because I did not feel qualified to work with those students since my career had been in high school and college teaching. I accepted the high school position offered.

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Here I am, at 72, with K to 8 students - some of the most delightful young people on this Earth - and with some of the most dedicated faculty, administrator and staff ever assembled under one roof. Good teaching is good teaching wherever it is found, and students must be challenged no matter what grade level. As chair of the school board, I am happy to leave the running of the school in the very capable hands of the administrator, Karen Ganjon.

Fortunately, I am not alone in my purposing for 2014. My fellow board members are very capable people who bring wide and varied experience to making sure that Carroll Lutheran School continues its mission to foster superior academic achievement, religious empowerment and compassion for the world.

Because Carroll Lutheran School is a private, nonprofit school, the board faces many challenges, not unlike the kinds of challenges that face other nonprofits: maintaining a strong enrollment, keeping tuition reasonable while paying good teachers a reasonable wage, building a strong donor base, and making the school a good community resource and neighbor. As a board we have purposeful work to do.

But I ask you again, what will be your purpose in 2014? Will you find something to which you can give your time, your talents, yourself? There are many nonprofit groups in our communities that need our help and resources. For example, the four organizations - Carroll County Food Sunday, Carroll Hospice, Neighbors in Need and The Shepherd's Staff - that received money through the very successful Carroll County Times Holiday Hope campaign are examples of places where we can be useful, beneficent caregivers. If we just look outside ourselves we can find many other worthy causes to support, whether they serve young people, needy people, the elderly, the sick, or the dying.

Aging purposefully means giving of ourselves to promote the welfare of our communities. Let us not be selfish. Let us work for the benefit of others so that we may age gracefully and purposefully.

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