Wow! It’s been an awesome week. As I try to put everything that happened in perspective here in the hustles and bustles of the famous LAX airport (which on a random note, I feel like I know how to get around here way too easily thanks to GTA – #gamerproblems) – Thank You’s are in order. I always try to express my gratitude in emails and personally, but I feel I never give enough credit where credit is due. So allow me to done out some accolades —
1. Thank you to The Lower Alloways Creek Board of Education. No doubt, many of my personal opportunities would not be happening for me had it not be for them granting my request to be released a whole year early. They, by far, have been one of the most supportive, friendly, generous boards I have worked with. Their appreciation of a quality education, their knowing that they have gotten some grief because I’m an outsider and not doing what’s been done for the past 30 or so years, and their support in both positive times and personal pitfalls has been beyond extraordinary. I owe a personal thank you to Walt Sheets, the BOE President. We had some clashes, but the man values education and what’s best for kids over anything else, time and time again. Walt always said to me “you first, us second” – and with my girls, he gets it. Thank you.
2. Thank you to the Waterford Township Board of Education for taking a chance on me. We all know this was not the easiest road traveled, but forward we go. All of you have been very clear in expectations and I have some big shoes to fill. That, and all of our schools are waist-deep in construction right now, so the added stress of opening on time is always a challenge. We will meet that challenge, and our staff and students will be ready to rock this September.
3. Thank you to the WTSD staff for being so awesome over these past two weeks! I have been fortunate enough to meet so many of you face to face, through email, and even Twitter. Your enthusiasm is educational wildfire and is both refreshing and invigorating. I’ve been lucky in my educational career thus far to work with educational rockstars in every district, and here there is certainly no exception. I know you’re eager and hungry for change — trust me — you’re gonna get it 😉
4. Thank you to “the crick”! Most of you are asking what the crick is; it’s rather hard to put into words, but the best way I can describe is a very small, tight-knit community who values tradition. I’ve learned a whole lot from y’all, and sure, the new guy brought some things in that you didn’t like, but I’m happy to say that that I enjoyed *most* of our interactions (I’d be lying if I said that every interaction was unicorns and puppy dogs — just like anywhere — you’re not going to make everyone happy as an administrator). I really appreciate your contribution to my blog hits this week — I had one of my best weeks ever on here (views on my website) – and thanks to WordPress analytics, I can reach out to you personally and say thank you. Thank you for forwarding and sharing my website on Facebook — and through email! Which leads me to my last shout out …
5. Thank you to the haters! Yes, I even need to thank those that don’t like me. Every administrator has an elite following of people who aren’t fans, me included. Some are gadflies, some are hecklers, and then you have some that always impress you on how sad one can really be. Just this week, I had a former employee reach out to every administrator and board member in the district to basically call me a giant ::insert your own word here::. While I’m really not surprised, I was surprised by the results of said email (it pretty much reinforced why the person was fired) – the amount of positive support from administrators and board members not only made me feel amazing but reinforced that I have top notch professionals that I am working with. Your phone calls, emails, and in person conversations were fantastic.
As for the haters – people really hate when leaders are honest, blunt, and heaven forbid, call people out when they are not getting the job done. I speak the truth and don’t sugar coat in the process. When something isn’t working, I change it. When someone is making poor choices and affecting our students or the faculty, I act on it. When policies are archaic or are useless, I change them.
What do the haters hate most? Something they can’t change – their kids liking my changes that effect them. This isn’t a popularity contest, but boils down to every single decision I make circulates around benefitting the learners and the learning environment. Whether it be the high fives and chest bumps or the hugs and huge belly laughs — your kids tell me how I’m doing. You don’t have to like me; they don’t have to either, but my actions result in kids wanting to come to school and getting them prepared for today’s society, not one from 50 years ago. Sure, I could keep things the way they are — but whom does that benefit? Anyone?! Nope.
On that note, time to try to sleep on the red eye. I have a full week of making education better for our learners, teachers, and community. And I won’t stop — because I love what I do.
Love me or loathe me, I’m here for the long haul. And yes, I have all of you to thank for it.