Time for reflection gives us time to refocus and recharge; we must apply what we have learned.​​

I have taken the summer months to take a break from writing weekly blogs.  To be honest, these blogs are probably more inspirational to me than they are to the reader.  Writing two blogs each week is an intentional exercise in gratitude, motivation, and optimism.  I’ve heard many times, “we are what we repeatedly do,”  and “we are what we practice.”  For me, being optimistic and positive is purposeful; it is a decision each and every day.

The time off during this summer has solidified many of my beliefs. I am resolute in my values, in my inner-core, and committed to this work in public education.  Each year provides learning experiences; each year is an opportunity for growth.  Please permit me to share three reflections from my time away from the office this summer:

  1. Our culture work is paramount to any success we will have as a district. The foundation of trust, the relationships we build as an education community, is the most critical predictor of student success.
  2. Leaders empower leadership in others. My primary job is to create the culture, to build trust so that our team achieves at the highest level.  Leaders support their team, hold them accountable, and maintain elite standards for performance.
  3. We must do a better job of measuring and documenting the work we do. Our culture must include check-points on our journey as guideposts and guardrails.

I am eager to return to a regular pattern of two weekly posts per week. My hope is, in some small way, that these posts provide periodic opportunities for reflection in your professional work.


Every leader leaves a legacy, which is the aggregate of the story he or she told over time.

Every leader leaves a legacy, which is the aggregate of the story he or she told over time. – Disney Institute

What do you want to be remembered for?  How do you want your co-workers and friends to remember you?

The education community in Ohio recently lost a giant.  Don Scriven served many schools in our area as legal counsel for decades.  Mr. Scriven has left a lasting legacy through his character, authentic love for public education, and respect for others.  His quick wit and one-liners are legendary.   Don’s legacy will forever be his integrity, intellect, and authenticity. As a rookie superintendent, over 15 years ago, Don said to me in a matter-of-fact conversation, “The more you try to play lawyer, the more money you need to pay me to clean-up your mistakes. Why don’t you just leave lawyering to the professionals?”  I have never forgotten those words.

Leaving a legacy isn’t about the things we create; leaving a legacy is about how people remember our character and our behavior.

Each and every day, lead with character and purpose.  Create your legacy based on who you are, not the things you leave behind.