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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A New Chapter

I have been contemplating writing this blog ever since I tendered my resignation a few months ago. I have been in education for 38 years and as I started this past year, I fully intended to continue that career for several more years. I had some issues with my board, but nothing I felt I could not overcome. When January came, they chose to not renew my contract for the second year, meaning I only had one year remaining. As I thought and prayed about my future, I felt I just could not continue.

You see while I was at London, I created a High School. That was job one when they hired me 4 years ago. A lot of milestones went into that high school and I will try to highlight them: started an interscholastic athletic program (both boys and girls) a fine arts program (band, choir,& theater), a F.F.A. program, a dual credit and AP curriculum, a rigorous comprehensive vertically aligned curriculum, designed a HS crest, mascot logo, letter jacket, diploma, & senior ring, started a NHS program, a competitive academic program, staffed all of these, hired a counselor, nurse (all of these w/ out a curriculum director & only a HS/MS principal)
I facilitated a renovation of our elementary and lead a successful bond election adding $.18 to raise $9.75 million to build dressing facilities, 16 classrooms, new cafeteria, parking facilities, and all weather track. Our state test scores have remained exemplary and even improved this year. London will be rated the highest academic rating possible.

I say all of this to simply say, that chapter is behind me and I am looking to the next. I have finished writing my introduction to my book: "Lead like PIRATES" and just completed two conferences in which I presented most recently ISTE2014. I feel so blessed to have met many in PLN and the main reason I attended, was meet & network with them. There are so many, but I want to mention a few: Jimmy Casas, Daisy Dyer Duerr, Todd Nesloney, Rafranz Davis, Holldy Sutherland, Melinda Sears, Colin Wilkan, Jennifer Hogan,Kristy Vincent...I could go on and on. I apologize to those who I finally got to meet, but didn't mention. All of you have made a huge impact on my life that I can never repay.

I have been melancholy thinking now when I am in a chat,  I will no longer be a practitioner. I can only say what I use to do and what I believe...this makes me sad. I don't see myself sitting on the couch. I just don't know what I will be doing. Sure I am writing my book and that will take an enormous amount of time. I will contact my regional service center and maybe I can consult or possibly fill in as an interim superintendent while the district searches for a full time.

All the above is this, I will continue to try to contribute in the many chats that are out there, I will continue to learn ( I really take that phrase "life-long learner" to heart). I will try to stay abreast of all the issues that current educators & my PLN face in the day to day of enhancing kids lives. As I type those last words, THAT is what I will miss the most, visiting classrooms, interacting with students and building relationships each day. Even now tears comes to my eyes realizing I may never get that opportunity again. All of you educators, cherish each day and make the most of relationships you build each day. That is what matters. As I have said before, each of you have impacted my life like you will probably never know. I am blessed to know each of you.....Pirate on!