Kissing the Blarney Stone

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Ireland. While I was there, I made sure to visit Blarney Castle and make my way up the tower to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Legend has it that anyone who kisses the stone will receive the gift of eloquent speech. The word Blarney was described by Irish politician, John O’Connor Power, as “flattery sweetened by humor and flavored by wit“. It’s also called the gift of gab. To be honest, I had the gift of gab long before kissing the Blarney Stone, but it took me many years of experience to realize the power our words can have on others.

As educators, the main tools of the trade are our words. We use words to teach our students, communicate with our parents, and collaborate with one another. Our words inspire children to reach their dreams and find their own words. With social media, our words are no longer confined to our classroom or school, but can be shared with educators around the world. That’s a lot of power to be able to tell our story and share our beliefs about education. Like all tools, we must be careful in the way we use our words.

With our words, we have the power to lift people up or knock them down. We have the power to build relationships or cause a rift. We have the power to spread the positives or echo the negatives. Our words have an impact on our attitudes and our students. I’m not suggesting that we all need to make a trek to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone, but I do feel that we all need to choose our words carefully as educators. Our words can help make a student’s or colleague’s day a little brighter, if we chose them wisely!

 

 

 

It’s a lot of work to kiss the Blarney Stone! (yes, that’s me:)

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Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” – William Butler Yeats

We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.” – Winston Churchill

Being Irish, I always had a love of words.” – Kenneth Branagh

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Kathleen Trantham                        Nan Kaufman

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  • Monday, May 20: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, May 21: IEP (Kaufman) 8:15 AM, IEP (Duff) 10:35 AM
  • Wednesday, May 22: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Kona Ice Truck here for Staff Treat at 4;15 (compliments of Andrea Oquist)
  • Thursday, May 23: Volunteer Breakfast 8:15 in the LMC, All Admin Meeting 3-4:30
  • Friday, May 24: Staff & Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM

 

  • Monday, May 27: No School for Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, May 28: Achievement Team 8:15, Library Talks in Gym 1:30 K-2 & 2:00 3/4
  • Wednesday, May 29: New Furniture Delivery, Final Fire Drill 11:00 AM
  • Thursday, May 30: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, SHS Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Friday, May 31: Spring Fling 5:30-8:30 PM

 

  • Monday, June 3: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05, F&P Data in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up!
  • Thursday, June 6: Final PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Friday, June 7: IRIPs go home, Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: Final Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05, 4th Grade Celebration at Rec Center
  • Tuesday, June 11: Kindergarten Concert Outside 1:30 PM
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day!
  • Thursday, June 13: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drum Assembly 10:00 AM, 4th Grade Clap Out 11:30 AM, Students dismissed for Summer Vacation 12:10 PM
  • Monday, June 15: OPTIONAL work day for Teachers

I Will Survive!

Gloria Gaynor has been inspiring people with that song since 1978 and its message of resiliency and courage during tough times is a message that educators need to hear during the hectic time of the end of the school year! Recently, my friend Allyson Apsey and I recorded a video to help teachers and principals finish the school year strong. Here are some of the strategies that we shared out:

Tips from #EncourageEDU: Break down your “To Do” list into manageable chunks. What needs to be done today? This week? Before the end of the year? Prioritize your schedule and spend your time accordingly. Learn to delegate! If a student can do a task, let them take charge. If a teacher or a partner can assist, let them. We can’t do it all on our own. Use the expertise around you! Keep the positive energy flowing. Take a dance break, use a jammy pack, ask yourself “What would Allyson do?”:)  Finally, just be there. Listen to your students and staff, hear their stories, be fully present.

Tips from Jennifer Hogan: Recognize when you are in “Survival Mode”. Ask what is important and what is necessary? Do some of these things each day: Get outside! Try a new recipe. Read something that inspires you or listen to a podcast that inspires you. Call a friend. Take a walk. Do a random act of kindness. Notice that these are small things that have a big impact! Check out Jennifer’s entire blog post here: The Compelled Educator.

Tips from “Through the Lens of Serendipity“: In her latest book, Allyson shares out the acronym of HANDLE. It stands for “Hope is everything, Assure safety, No Shoulda’ needed, Do things differently, Listen to understand, Establish trust.” These are important things to do all year, but especially during this hectic time of the year. For more tips, check out the book for yourself!

I want to stress that encouraging educators to finish the year strong is NOT intended as an insult to teachers or insinuates that educators get lazy toward the end of the year. Rather, I believe that we all need to lift one another up during an exhausting and grueling time of the year and share ideas to keep students engaged during this time of assessments and culminating activities. Thanks for all you do and let’s finish strong together!

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Link to #EncourageEDU episode

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“It’s not how you start the season, it’s how you finish.” – Albert Pujols

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

“If you’re brave enough to start, you’re strong enough to finish.” – Gary Blair

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Shayna Gruenewald                   Jennifer Medellin

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  • Monday, May 13: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, May 14: Grouping Meetings (K-3) 8:15-9:15 (Rotating Subs), 4th Grade to Riley
  • Thursday, May 16: No Staff Meeting, Art Fair (K-4) & Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00

 

  • Monday, May 20: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, May 21: IEP (Kaufman) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, May 23: Volunteer Breakfast 8:15 AM
  • Friday, May 24: Students & Staff Dismissed at 12:10 PM

 

  • Monday, May 27: No School for Memorial Day
  • Wednesday, May 29: Furniture Delivery, Final Fire Drill 11:00 AM
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson High School Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Friday, May 31: Spring Fling 5:30-8:30 PM

 

Turn! Turn! Turn!

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

These words, attributed to Solomon, were written thousands of years ago and set to music several generations ago by folk singer, Pete Seger. If you’re close to my age, you may recognize them from the music of “The Byrds”. The words ring just as true today as when they were first put down in verse. They are timeless, because we all go through seasons in our life and we gain wisdom when we recognize not only our own seasons, but the seasons of others.

As a principal, I try to recognize the seasons that my staff and students are going through and support them accordingly. Those with young children may find it difficult to make early morning meetings. Those caring for aging parents may need to leave promptly after school to become a caretaker. Those adding to their family or getting married are focused on new family ties. Those with children graduating high school or attending college are navigating ways to support their children from afar. Those suffering the loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship may need comforting. Going through these seasons does NOT make an educator less valuable, it makes them more valuable, because they are better able to connect with students and colleagues as they go through pivotal life events.

As educators, it can be easy to beat ourselves up as we go through the various seasons of our life and feel that we can’t always give 100% of our hearts and energy to our students. Don’t feel bad, it simply means your human. And our students need all the human connections they can get from caring adults who recognize and support them through the seasons they are going through!

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“Every new season of your life will be an opportunity for you to learn and grow.” – Theresa Lewis

“Everything is in the process of either coming into being or expiring.” – Kilroy J. Oldster

“You can’t enter into a new season, until you’re willing to leave the old one.” – Joe Joe Dawson

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Michelle Adams                               Sandra Benson

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  • Monday, May 6: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, iReady Window 3 Opens
  • Tuesday, May 7: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, Talent Show!
  • Wednesday, May 8: IEP (Kurtjian) 8:15 AM, Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, May 9: CLT 7:50-8:50 AM (Bring Yellow Sheet)
  • Friday, May 10: Jon to Lansing for MEMSPA Board Meeting, Laura & Dan Wedding!

 

  • Monday, May 13: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, May 14: 4th Grade to Riley in AM, Grouping Meetings K-3 (Rotating Subs in AM)
  • Thursday, May 16: No Staff Meeting, Art Showcase (K-4) & Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Thursday, May 23: Volunteer Breakfast 8:00 AM
  • Friday, May 24M-STEP EndsStudents & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM

BIG DATES

  • Monday, May 27No School for Memorial Day
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Monday, June 3: F&P in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: 4th Grade Party
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00 AM

Fighting a Gorn

The original Star Trek series had many groundbreaking special effects and story lines. It also had several cringe worthy scenes and special effects. One of the most notorious scenes involves Captain Kirk fighting a giant reptile called a Gorn. The creature’s costume is laughable and he looks like he’s wearing a shower curtain taken from my late grandmother’s bathroom. While the episode is actually fun and contains a good moral lesson, the fight scene is downright ridiculous. In fact, I have even come to calling any ridiculous battle “Fighting a Gorn” after the episode.

Throughout my life, I have fought many ridiculous battles. As a husband, I have gotten into more ridiculous arguments than I can count. As a father, I have witnessed ridiculous battles between my daughters and have been drawn into more than I care to admit. Even as a teacher and principal, I have been pulled into ludicrous situations that would rival Captain Kirk’s battle with the Gorn.  Fortunately, the older I become, the less I am drawn into silly and destructive battles that don’t benefit anyone.

As educators, it can be easy to be pulled into “Fighting a Gorn” as we have a power struggle with a student, argue with a combative parent, or even get into workplace gossip or cliques. When you feel this happening, take a step back, breathe, and walk away if possible. We have enough real battles to face as educators. Make sure you are spending your energy on the important things and remember that nobody looks good fighting a Gorn…not even Captain Kirk!

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“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain

“Raise your words, not your voice.” – Rumi

“The test of a man or woman’s breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.” – George Bernard Shaw

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Becky Hurula                             Kellie Stark

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  • Monday, April 29: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM, M-STEP Window Opens
  • Tuesday, April 30: Achievement Team (Duff) 8:15 AM, 2nd Grade Talking Zoo
  • Thursday, May 2: #MEMSPAchat 8:00 PM (Chance to earn a 30 min. break card:)
  • Friday, May 3: Fire Drill 3:05 PM

 

  • Monday, May 6: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, iReady Window 3 Opens
  • Tuesday, May 7: TALENT SHOW! 
  • Thursday, May 9: CLT 7:50-8:50 AM
  • Friday, May 10: Jon in Lansing for MEMSPA Board Meeting

 

  • Tuesday, May 14Grouping Meetings in AM (Rotating Subs)/4th Grade to Riley
  • Thursday, May 16: Art Fair (K-4) Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Friday, May 24: M-STEP EndsStudents & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Monday, May 27No School for Memorial Day
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Monday, June 3: F&P in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: 4th Grade Party
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00 AM

Walk Up Song!

Several years ago, I was asked at a PD session what my walk up song would be if I had one. The question was asked by Syndee Malek and was described as the soundtrack that would be playing as I walked into the school. I had to think about it, because soundtracks are very important to me as a music & movie lover! I finally settled on the theme from “The Greatest American Hero“. The song is optimistic and about a person who can’t believe how lucky he is, and he’s also a bit of a goof…sounds about right:)

As we shared out our songs and why we chose them, the common themes were optimism, energy, and excitement! I heard songs like Eye of the Tiger, Fight Song, and Don’t Stop Believin’. By the time we had finished the activity we were all pumped up and ready walk into our schools with our walk up songs blasting away!

Being an educator can be grueling at times, especially near the end of the school year. When you’re feeling a deflated and spent, think about what your walk up song would be and the energy you can draw from it. Every action hero needs their own song and in my book, all educators are heroes!

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“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve

“Don’t forget, you are the hero of your own story.” – Greg Boyle

“The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways.” – Gene Hackman

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Kelsey Duff                Laura Kurtjian

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  • Monday, April 22: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, April 23: Achievement Team (K Retention) 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, April 24: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, April 25: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, YMAD at CHS 6:30 PM
  • Monday, April 29: Student of Month Assembly 9:05 AM, M-STEP Window Opens

 

  • Monday, May 6iReady Window 3 Opens
  • Tuesday, May 7: Talent Show
  • Tuesday, May 14Grouping Meetings in AM (Rotating Subs)/4th Grade to Riley
  • Thursday, May 16: Art Fair (K-4) Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Friday, May 24: M-STEP Ends, Students & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Monday, May 27No School for Memorial Day
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson Clap Out 11:00 AM

 

  • Monday, June 3: F&P in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: 4th Grade Party
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00 AM

Reinventing Yourself

My father was an artist and while I didn’t inherit any of his artistic ability, I did grow up with an enormous appreciation for art. One artist that I struggled with early on was Picasso. I thought his work was strange and even simplistic. I dismissed him for years. Then, I had the opportunity to see some of his very early work while in Spain. By the age of 13, he had mastered realism and had created beautiful “traditional” paintings. Also, during my trip through Spain, I was exposed to the several different periods of his art and how he literally invented new forms of artistic expression as he evolved as an artist and I learned how these stages correlated with his life experiences. Here are some samples from some different periods in his art:

 

Realism                    Blue Period              Rose Period      African Period

 

Classicism                Cubism                 War Years                Surrealism

The more I learned about Picasso, the more impressed I became with him. Not just for his artistic abilities, but for his continuous desire to expand his skills and reinvent himself. When he mastered a style, he would move onto the next and when he ran out of styles, he created his own. Picasso never settled for the status quo, even when the status quo was considered master level. He pushed boundaries, took risks, and continued to explore his craft for his entire life. His groundbreaking work left a legacy for future artists to follow and his constant reinventions challenged future artists to blaze their own trails.

As educators, we can learn much from Picasso. Great teachers don’t just master their craft, they continually seek ways to expand their knowledge, learn new techniques, and challenge the status quo. I think that process begins with always keeping a spirit of curiosity and remaining life-long learners. Change can be scary, but nothing great was ever achieved by playing it safe. As you reflect on your growth as an educator, consider if it’s time to transform some of your practices and attitudes and never be afraid to reinvent yourself!

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“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.” – Pablo Picasso

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Jennifer Hogan                            Craig Vroom

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  • Monday, April 15: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, April 16: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, IEP Planning Meeting (Kurtjian) 1:00-2:30 PM
  • Wednesday, April 17: M-STEP Training Meeting 8:20 AM
  • Thursday, April 18: AED Training with John Raymond 7:50-8:50 AM
  • Friday, April 19: No School for Good Friday
  • Monday, April 29: M-STEPS Begins

 

  • Monday, May 6: iReady Window 3 Opens
  • Tuesday, May 7: Talent Show
  • Tuesday, May 14: Grouping Meetings in AM (Rotating Subs)/4th Grade to Riley
  • Thursday, May 16: Art Fair (K-4) Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Friday, May 24: M-STEP Ends, Students & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Monday, May 27: No School for Memorial Day
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson Clap Out 11:00 AM

 

  • Monday, June 3: F&P in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: 4th Grade Party
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00 AM

Please Pass the Pepper

Just before break, I had the opportunity to record a podcast with Suzy Pepper Rollins. Suzy is the founder of MyEdExpert.com, which is a community of Ed Authors sharing compelling resources. She also hosts a podcast that I had the pleasure to participate in. For the podcast, Suzy focused on one of my presentations “Leadership Lessons from Captain Kirk”, but we also got to discuss education in general and what makes our profession so special. I had a blast talking with Suzy and particularly loved hearing her Georgian accent. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation in the Q & A format that was used.

What do you love about being a principal? The fact that I get to make a difference each day and work with teachers and students.

What do you look for when searching for a positive school climate? Are people smiling? Do students and staff greet one another in the hallways? Are students actively engaged in their learning? You can tell pretty quickly what the culture of a school is and I always try to model a positive culture in all my interactions.

What are some myths about leadership? The biggest myth about leadership is the philosophy that “It’s all about me“. Leadership is about serving others and empowering those around you. Another myth is that “Leaders are born“. Leadership is about developing skills and communicating and collaborating. Never confuse charisma with leadership. Finally, we need to dispel the myth that “Leaders play it safe“. Leaders need to move past the status quo and model risk-taking.

What do you worry about as a principal? After 24 years, I still have the same worry…. balance (or the lack of it). Am I giving my family the same level of commitment as my school? Am I being fully present wherever I am and whoever I’m with? Balance is a struggle for me, but one that I’m keenly aware of and try my best to find.

What lessons did you learn from Captain Kirk? 1) Let the experts do their jobs! Kirk is not the smartest person on the ship, Spock is. Kirk can’t fix the engines, Scotty does that. Empower your staff and rely on their leadership skills while you support and motivate the team. 2) Get out of your comfort zone! Just as the mission of the Enterprise is to explore and find new worlds, our mission is to prepare students to reach their full potential in an ever-changing world. 3) Use technology! One of the most fascinating aspects of Star Trek is the technology that the show imagines. We need to utilize the technology available to us and teach students how to use these tools, but more importantly, how to be creative problem solvers who will be able to adapt to whatever technology they may use in the future. 4) Find your passion! Captain Kirk is following his calling, just as educators must follow theirs. This job is not for everyone and we need to feel it in our heart and soul that this is the what we are meant to do with our lives. 5) Do What it takes to win! Let’s face it, we like Captain Kirk because he always finds a way to win in the end. As educators, we need to do whatever it takes to make each child successful and if the conditions aren’t right, we change the conditions. Educators are innovative and often have to think outside the box.

Final Advice? Life is short!  We spend way too much time at school, not to have fun while we are here. If you are not having fun, change what you do our how you are doing it. Love what you do!

In addition to having fun while talking with Suzy, the podcast allowed me to reflect on what I believe as an educator and to recommit to living out what I believe. If you get a chance to listen to the podcast, I hope it brings you a smile and helps you reflect on what YOU believe as an educator.

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CLICK HERE to listen to the PODCAST EPISODE

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“To succeed in life, you need three things: A wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.” – Reba McEntire

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” – Teddy Roosevelt

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” – Anthony Burgess

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Suzy Pepper Rollins                            John Wawczak

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  • Monday, April 8Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM (Integrity)
  • Tuesday, April 9: REED (Kaufman) 8:15 AM, ESY Meeting (Kurtjian) 9:50 AM, Parent Meeting (Achievement Team) 2:30 PM
  • Wednesday, April 10: Spring Pictures in the East Commons
  • Thursday, April 11: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
  • Friday, April 12: Science Fair in the afternoon (for participating students)
  • Saturday, April 13: Martian Marathon (for participating students & staff)

 

 

 

Letters from Kimanzi

Several years ago, I was listening to the radio station as I was driving around for some last minute Christmas shopping. The radio host was asking for listeners to sponsor a child through Compassion International. I remember the host saying that if people weren’t sponsoring a child they really needed to do so and that if they were sponsoring a child that they should sponsor a second child. I was thinking how bold that was to ask people who were already giving to give more. I then realized that I was judging someone for asking “too much” when I wasn’t giving anything at all. I thought about the presents that I was buying and also that the night before I had taken my daughters out for dinner for the same price that it cost to sponsor a child for a month. I was embarrassed of myself.

That evening I went on the computer and signed up to sponsor a child. I purposely chose an older child, because I knew they were less likely to be sponsored. After watching a video about the sponsorship program, I was a little teary-eyed and feeling more guilty than ever for not doing this sooner. I sponsored a child named Kimanzi from a rural village in Kenya. The next month, we received a hand written letter from him and it made a big impact on my daughters to receive a message from him. It prompted them to write one back and ask a lot of questions. We receive two or three letters from Kimanzi each year and it’s been moving to watch him as he grows.

The letters from Kimanzi have been a powerful learning tool for our family. They have helped us keep our “problems” in perspective. They have helped us count our blessings. They have shown us that everyone can help in some small way. I often wonder if Kimanzi has any idea how much he has taught his American family. As we enter a busy and sometimes stressful time of the year, I will keep in mind the lessons I have learned from Kimanzi’s letters and remember to count my many blessings!

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“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” – Eric Hoffer

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

“Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.” – Publilius Syrus

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Ines Bieler                                       Jeff Zoul

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  • Monday, March 25: Students of the Month Assembly! 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 26: ALT (all principals) to Central Office 8:00-11:30 AM, Achievement Team (Adams) 8:15 AM, Parent Meeting (Kaufman) 10:35 AM, Robotics Assembly in afternoon
  • Thursday, March 28: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM (Led by Kurtjian & Duff)
  • Friday, March 29: Author Assembly 9:30-10:30 AM

SPRING BREAK

  • Monday, April 8: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, April 9: REED (Kaufman) 8:15 AM, ESY Meeting (Kurtjian) 9:50 AM
  • Wednesday, April 10: Spring Pictures in the East Commons
  • Thursday, April 11: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
  • Friday, April 12: Science Fair in the afternoon (for participating students)

Be the Teacher you Wanted

DETROIT ROCK CITY!! These were the words that started the concert that I went to this week. At my age, there aren’t many things that can entice me to stay out past midnight on a school night, but the KISS: End of the Road Tour was one of them. In true fan fashion, I painted my face, wore my concert shirt, and jammed out to KISS tunes as I drove into Detroit. The band didn’t disappoint and I’m not exaggerating when I say it was not just a concert, but an experience.  I even had the good fortune to run into some of my teachers at the show. It was a great night and completely worth the loss of sleep and extra coffee required in the morning.

In between songs, Paul Stanley, the energetic front man took the microphone and shouted to the crowd that they were still rocking it out after 40 years, because they were doing what they loved. If someone ever questions how some bands have such longevity, the answer to their question was right there. He then said something that really stuck with me. He said when they created KISS, they wanted to be the band that they had always wished for. One that played great music, put on an incredible show, and most of all listened to the fans. Many times he stated that they were still here because of the fans and even credited their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to fan activism in spite of protests from some music critics.

As educators, we need to strive to be the person we needed in school. If you are a teacher, be the teacher you wanted as a student. If you are a principal, be the principal you wanted as a teacher. If you are a superintendent, be the superintendent you wanted as a principal. We have the opportunity each day to make a difference in the lives of our students. When you look around, if you don’t see what you needed in school, be like the members of KISS and create the reality you once wished for!

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“There are two great days in a person’s life – The day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay

“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” – Charles R. Swindoll

“There is no genius without some touch of madness.” – Aristotle

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Jason Gribble                                 Harmonee McCrea

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  • Monday, March 18: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 19: Achievement Team (Kaufman) 8:15 AM, Tornado Drill 10:00 AM, Grades due in by midnight
  • Wednesday, March 20: Sky Dome Assemblies in East Commons, Elementary Principals Meeting 1:30 PM, Wedding Shower 4:00 PM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 21: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Sky Dome Assemblies in East Commons, Admin M-Step Training at C.O. 12:30 PM
  • Friday, March 22: Battle of Books (Lunch in Rooms), Report Cards go home

 

  • Monday, March 25: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 26: Achievement Team (Adams) 8:15 AM, Robotics Assemblies in PM
  • Thursday, March 28: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
  • Friday, March 29: Author Visit 9:30-10:30 AM

SPRING BREAK!!!

72 Degrees & Clear Skies

Several years ago, my friend and mentor, Syndee Malek, shared with me the phrase “72 degrees and sunny skies“. The concept was that a principal’s attitude effects the climate of the entire school and therefore must be consistent and calm. The crazier things become, the more relaxed the principal must be. For years, I used the phrase with my staff and during presentations to ed leaders, reminding people to always be in the eye of the storm and I prided myself on remaining 72 degrees and sunny skies.

However, at a recent session with new and aspiring administrators, one of the participants asked a question that stopped me in my tracks. She asked, “What about when your skies aren’t so sunny?“. I had just shared with the group about the importance of being honest and real with staff and she correctly pointed out that everyone (including principals) go through rough times and are not always feeling “sunny”. After reflecting for a moment, I shared with the class that I had been mistaken. While a principal always needs to be 72 degrees (not running hot or cold), they don’t always have to have sunny skies. Things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. Instead, I said that principals need to be 72 degrees and CLEAR skies. For me, that means being honest about how we are doing, sharing our vulnerabilities, but always trying to see through the clouds for that clear sky (even if it’s not always sunny).

Educators are only human, but that can be a source of great strength. We are stronger when we support one another, are honest with one another, and realize that life has its ups and downs. As a principal, I still like to spread the sunshine whenever I can, but my focus will always be on consistency and honestly. For me, that means being 72 degrees and CLEAR skies, no matter what the weather of the day may be!

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With my friend, Syndee Malek at MEMSPA Headquarters!

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“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself” – Bruce Lee

“You just have to be yourself and go with full confidence and be courageous.” – Gabby Douglass

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson

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Syndee Malek                                    Daniel Bauer

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  • Monday, March 11: IEP (Tanner) 8:20 AM, Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, Book Fair Begins, Jon to AdvancED Meeting at 2:30 PM
  • Tuesday, March 12: Achievement Team (Jones) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, March 14: CLT 7:50-8:50 AM

 

  • Monday, March 18: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 19: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, Tornado Drill 10:00 AM, Grades due by midnight
  • Wednesday, March 20: Sky Dome Assemblies in East Commons, Jon to Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Bridal Showers 4:00 PM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 21: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Sky Dome Assemblies in East Commons, Jon to M-Step Training 12:30 PM
  • Friday, March 22: Battle of the Books, Report Cards go home

 

  • Monday, March 25: Students of the Month assembly (Mindfulness) 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 26: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, Robotics Assemblies in the PM
  • Thursday, March 28: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
  • Friday, March 29: Author Visit (Allyson Apsey) 9:30-10:30 AM

SPRING BREAK!!