I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don’t always agree with them.

I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don’t always agree with them.  – George H.W. Bush

 

The more I “press pause” and really “get my mind right” about my feelings the better I understand the balance between my thoughtful self and my emotional self.  My first reaction, my gut instinct, is my emotional self.  For me, this response is based on self-interest or fear.  I have an initial strong opinion or reaction; when undisciplined I act out of emotion.  When I take time to think . . . when I press pause to understand why I feel the emotions that want to drive me in a certain direction . . . my thoughtful self always makes a better decision.  Sure, there are times that my gut, that my emotions, are correct.  There is no harm in pressing pause to confirm a response to an event.

Take time to press pause to understand your emotions and feelings.  Get your mind right around your own opinions.  Internal conflict, balancing your own head and heart, is a natural part of a leader and decision maker.  Own your behavior by achieving a thoughtful, reflective balance in life.

No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others. 

No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.  – George H.W. Bush

One of our goals is teaching our students the value of service.  One of our three core values as a district is “Power of the Team.”  We instill in young people the value of listening, caring, and serving.  We model empathy and demand respect.  In a society that often glorifies individual accomplishments, we create opportunities for teamwork and collaboration.

No one modeled a true sense of service to others more than President George H.W. Bush.  His life is a true model of service to his country, to humanity.  As a father, husband, Navy Pilot, and ultimately President of the United States, President Bush led with his values, faith, and heart.  We study history so today’s young people learn about those who paved the way.  I have faith that by serving this generation, others will dedicate their lives to service too.

Think about every problem, every challenge, we face.  The solution to each starts with education.

Think about every problem, every challenge, we face.  The solution to each starts with education.  – George H.W. Bush

Education is the silver bullet. Our education system is the key to our country’s future prosperity.  Education is everything, but it also requires monumental changes in how we serve our students.  We have the infrastructure and resources, but we must exponentially increase our capacity to serve an increasingly diverse community.  The one-size-fits-all approach to schooling must be overhauled. The age of testing and assessment must be replaced by the age of support and accountability.  We must have high standards that are customized to the skills required for future success.

Education is learning . . . it is increasing capacity based on increasing knowledge and skills.  As educators we must embrace the productive discomfort of institutional change.  There is no single, simple answer.  It begins with a willingness to engage in the conversation with a commitment to do the work.  It starts with us, as educators, learning and growing.

Our problems are large, but our heart is larger.  Our challenges are great but our will is greater.

Our problems are large, but our heart is larger.  Our challenges are great but our will is greater. – George H.W. Bush

The problems facing public education in this country are larger, but the hearts of our teachers and school families are larger.  Schools are no longer institutions responsible for imparting academic knowledge alone.  We now provide two meals a day to nearly half of our students.  We teach life skills and core values.  We champion diversity and inclusivity as we teach the very liberties that makes America that shinning city on the hill.  Public education is the silver bullet – the only path to perpetuate the American Dream.

Challenges are negative opponents and political naysayers are great, but our will to serve the next generation of Americans is greater.  The most important investment we make as taxpayers is in the education of our children. The future doctors who will care for us, first responder who will serve us, and entrepreneurs who will create the future world in which we will live are in our classrooms today.  Our will and heart will overcome each obstacle as we do the work required of us.

The harder you work, the luckier you get.

The harder you work, the luckier you get. – Mike Adenuga

We create our own luck. Luck isn’t a random happenstance; luck is created by being at the right place, at the right time. The harder we work in preparation, in training, the more lucky we are in life.

Lucky athletes have earned that luck through hard work and effort. Lucky investors earn their wealth through years of study, skill, and development. We are happy when we work hard, earn our successes, and count our blessings. Take control of your life through your effort; don’t wait for good things to happen. Make great things happen through your behavior.

We are limited, but we can push back the borders of our limitations.

We are limited, but we can push back the borders of our limitations. – Stephen Covey

As a school superintendent I believe that every program we have in our district should be elite. Each teacher, administrator, and yes student must strive to be an elite version of him or her self. We strive to create elite educational opportunities, elite musical and performing groups, and elite athletic teams.

Being elite is a simple process . . . do the work to get better every day. If each of us find our edge, find the limit of our abilities, and push ourselves to that limit every day then we can push to a new limit tomorrow. We reset that border . . . we reset our edge . . . each day. Learning is a process of pushing our cognitive limits each and every day

One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.

One person can make a difference, and everyone should try. – John F. Kennedy

We live in challenging times. The negativity and vitriolic tenor of today’s political and social media climate are enough to discourage even the most optimistic among us. It is easy to evaluate any public situation and shy away from individual contribution. It is safe to keep to ourselves and avoid conflict.

The only way we are going to improve this climate for the children we serve is by each of us, as individuals, stepping up and making a difference. It starts with me . . . it starts with you. Yes, you have the responsibility to make a difference. If each of us takes ownership, if we stand up and own our behavior and our expectations, we can make a difference. One person is a voice in the choir . . . a voice for a more caring, civil, and loving approach to how we live our lives.