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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!

7 comments:

  1. Hal, I have been blessed to know you in any capacity. Your passion for education and quality leadership is evident far beyond any local boundary. I am convinced that your purpose in education is not fulfilled, you have many great moments ahead of you. Regardless of where your office is located, I look forward to continuing to learn with you as our paths cross. God has a plan.

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    1. Thank you Amy, you words really mean a lot to me, I am blessed to have in my PLN

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  2. Wow Hal!! I had no idea!! Praying for you in your next endeavours!

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    1. Thank you Todd, your prayers are really appreciated, I know God has a plan.

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  3. Hal, you will STILL be a practitioner, whether you realize it or not! You'll be sharing your spirit, experience and leadership with everyone you meet. Your lack of presence in a classroom envrionment will NOT lesson your impact on others. =)

    There's no doubt this next chapter will be as successful as your last! And your cheering section is bigger than you realize. xxoo

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    1. Thank you Julie, those words coming from you truly means a lot to me. Your message inspires me. I value your input.

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  4. Hal, I cannot express in words how much I admire you and how much of an impact you have made on me, not only as an educator but as a person, and you may not even realize this! I am going to say this, and it is not for any reason other than this: Too often, we do not tell people what they have done for us or meant to use, and I am working to make sure that I do more of that in the future. So to you, I say:

    My purpose, my outlook, my level of confidence to reach for my dreams, have all been impacted by you. I "met" you on Twitter and throughout this time, I have read things you write and listened to your thoughts, and I have been inspired. I have often thought to myself in my own classroom, or while I was going on interviews, "what would Hal say to me about this"? Through disappointments, through nervousness, through joys and through sorrows you have always had exactly the right words to say to me. I know that my current direction and new venture would absolutely not have occurred had it not been for you and the spirit of faith and confidence you have shown in me. I will never forget what you told me about "this is your moment to shine"; that simple advice changed my approach and mindset. I am going to do my best to do things this year in ways that would make you proud. THAT is the impact you have had, on just one teacher, one person, far away that you have not even met in person. I have no doubt that your impact on lives will continue, on an even greater scale. I can't wait to see what God has in store for you soon!!
    Traci

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