Excellence not Perfection

Last summer, I heard international speaker, Dr. Adolph Brown, speak with a group of educators and he shared his vision of chasing excellence and not perfection. He demonstrated how perfection is an illusion and theoretically if we reached it, we would never have to improve again. In contrast, the pursuit of excellence is attainable and something that we should be engaged in.  Another statement that I heard this summer, from a teaching candidate was “You don’t have to be bad to want to get better“. This is how I want to approach the pursuit of excellence for myself and for our team.

Too often, educators get beaten down with testing statistics, public perception, and challenging parents. I don’t want to add to teachers’ plates by continually saying “Do better“. Yet at the same time, I don’t want us to ever settle for mediocrity.  We are better than that. So instead of chasing perfection, I prefer to pursue excellence.  I don’t believe anyone went into this profession for fame or fortune.  They came into it to change lives.  For that, we NEED to pursue excellence for ourselves, our school, and our students. As a principal, I need to balance that line of keeping spirits up and of pushing people to continually improve. That starts with me.  I need to model risk taking, continuous learning, and a positive attitude. It may start with me, but excellence doesn’t happen without the teachers who make the magic happen in their classrooms.

Teaching is hard work and it takes a special person to live the life of an educator. One of the things that makes our job so special is that it changes with each new student we receive, with each new idea we are exposed to, and with each new challenge we face. Teachers can’t afford to stand still and rest on their laurels, we have to continually grow and improve. Together we ALL need to let the illusion of perfection go and push ourselves to reach the excellence that comes to all educators who are willing to work for it.



“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” – Ralph Marston

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” – Will Durant

“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” – John W. Gardner



Jon Harper                                        Amy Fast


  • Monday, November 19: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, November 20: REED (Ringler) 8:30 AM
  • Wednesday, November 21 – Friday, November 23: Thanksgiving Break


  • Monday, November 26: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM (GRIT), Recognition of Pat Pepple at the Board Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday, November 27: Achievement Team 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, November 29: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Friday, November 30: Records Day (Optional Report Day)


  • Monday, December 3: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, 3rd Grade to Lansing
  • Tuesday, December 4: Grades due by midnight
  • Friday, December 7: Report Cards go home


  • Monday, December 10: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, Santa Shop Opens in the East Commons, iReady Window 2 Opens
  • Wednesday, December 12: School Improvement Team 8:15 AM

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