By Joe Riedel, Director of Business Development at Straub Construction

Joe Riedel WATCH D.O.G.S.Last fall, during Back to School night at my kids’ school, I had just been handed the new school year calendar.

It’s an exercise I go through every year. I skip right through the first semester. Holiday break? Nope, no big deal. Spring Break? Nope again. We would deal with that later.

My eyes locked onto February, and there it is. BOOM! Yes, my birthday would fall on a WEEKDAY! Why is this such a big deal? It’s because that allowed me to sign up for the WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dad of Great Students) program on my birthday. If you aren’t familiar, please take a moment to learn more by clicking this link.

This year turned out to be an exceptional experience, and I learned a lot about my kids, their school, and myself.

HWATCH D.O.G.S. Logoere are some of my key takeaways:

  1. My kids treated my WATCH D.O.G.S. birthday as if it was THEIR birthday. They too (mentally) circled the day on their “calendar.” As we got closer to the day, there was an ongoing debate in our household as to exactly what activities we would be doing during each recess.
  2. Speaking of recess, I am WAY out of shape. My younger son’s recess came up first. You would think playing two-hand touch football with a bunch of eight-year olds would be easy. Think again. I handled myself pretty well as the “all time QB”, but they got the best of me when I was on defense. Trying to stop a kid with unlimited energy and whose center of gravity was at least two feet lower than mine proved to be much like trying to catch a chicken running around a farmhouse. Trust me. That metaphorical chicken won’t be seeing the inside of a frying pan anytime soon.
  3. Apparently, twenty fifth grade boys are too many to have playing football on the playground while other kids are present. This was with my oldest son’s group. I’m not sure how many is too many, but the teachers were definitely quick to let me know that the number is much lower than twenty. It’s much closer to TWO.
  4. I am amazed by the faculty and staff at our schools. Children deserve the best, and they are getting it at this school. Their patience, kindness, strength, and ability to multi-task have humbled me.

I am so thankful for the faculty and staff at Riverview Elementary who helped me celebrate my birthday in such great style. I’ve already peeked ahead at next year’s calendar, and you can count me in for a certain Thursday in February of 2020!

Joe Riedel - WATCH D.O.G.S.

2 replies
  1. Don Gardner
    Don Gardner says:

    This brings back memories as I was a Watch D.O.G.S at my daughter’s Elementary School and still have my official logo t-shirt.
    She just turned 20 years old and is a sophomore in college.
    Time flies by…..

    Thanks for the story,
    Don Gardner, Architect

  2. John Riedel
    John Riedel says:

    I’m glad you were able to do this last year. I did Watch D.O.G.S. frequently, and it will always be one of my favorite memories of Nicholas and Jacob’s elementary school years.


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