It is hard to believe that we are already near the end of December. It seems like I just welcomed so many of you to our family, and now it is the competition season. Time seems to be flying – and I have been following suit. In this calendar year, I have had the privilege of flying to Botswana twice as we started the FLL program there, Dubai for the FIRST Global Competition, and finally a long awaited family reunion trip to Australia (I got back just a week prior to this writing). Jet lag aside, this has been a most incredible year for me both personally and professionally. It has been both freeing and very difficult for me to step aside from coaching to focus on more of the work of the Executive Director.

2019 has been a time of change and growth for all of us. We saw our largest group of Seniors yet leave the nest to fly off to colleges across theUSA. It was a difficult parting, but we also welcomed many new families to our flock. It has been such a joy to watch as the newer members of our group have jumped in to help us out with coaching, volunteering, mentoring and other support – like a brand new newsletter! (Thank you, Laura.)

The Board has grown in size, and is working hard on improving our policies, processes, transparency, and structure. By the time
you read this newsletter, our FLL Jr teams, and many of our FLL teams as well, will have completed their seasons. With just one returning coach in each program, there has been a tremendous learning opportunity for coaches and students alike. We are so proud of the caliber of coaching this season and the effort put in by so many working parents and busy kids to participate in this program. The FTC teams are just ramping up their competition seasons as they are preparing for their first judged event this season – the Feynman Interleague in Tacoma. Although the holidays are upon us, our students are seeing only robot meeting opportunities, so please feel free to tell your FTC student “no” – your family time is top priority in this hectic world.

As you enter the break from school, work, and other scheduled routine activities, I hope you will reflect on a great year of learning, discovery and joy. I know that I have seen incredible growth in our students – confidence in their skills, opinions, and even their voice. The students who worked so hard to take FLL to Botswana should also be proud that the 12 teams that started there also completed the season and are planning for next year as well!

We look forward to further growth together and would value your feedback, volunteer time, or other help as we seek to improve further the Swerve Robotics experience for all. Thank you for your ongoing support.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate at this time of year. I hope all have a wonderful time with family and take the time to rest and enjoy the season.

Heidi Lovett