PJ

My 40th Birthday

I am about to turn 40. I definitely do not have anxiety about turning 40 or anything like that, but there is something about a round number such as this that makes you take inventory. So, as I sit here and try to capture the thoughts I have had in this – the strangest of all of my adult years – I do so with an acute awareness of how lucky I am to be turning 40 happily married, with… Read More »My 40th Birthday

Why telling people to ‘re-charge’ is probably stressing them out.

Maybe, just maybe, we need to quit telling each other to re-charge. Listen, I understand the hypocrisy coming from a guy who has written two books on how to be #FullyCharged. And yes, I still boldly believe and support everything in those books, but I think we are in a danger zone. Joe Mullikin (@joemullikin86) prompted me to think about this. He said maybe enough is enough on this topic and then we had a great dialogue processing through this.… Read More »Why telling people to ‘re-charge’ is probably stressing them out.

My thoughts on my 37th trip around the sun

I am a couple of days late on my birthday gift to myself (a long former email, now social media post) that at least some of you seem to read and enjoy based on the several,  delicate reminders I received reminding me it was late this year. New rule for myself this year . . . each musing is limited to at most a general topic and no more than three sentences or three bullet points to support my thought.… Read More »My thoughts on my 37th trip around the sun

Politically Speaking . . .

As a school superintendent, politics are a scary subject. At least they are for me. I am very measured in how I speak about anything political that does not involve my school or students directly. I advocate with my local legislators on behalf of my district and I openly support them because they have been wonderful to my district – but that is as far as it goes. I simply fear alienating a decent percentage of my stakeholders regardless of… Read More »Politically Speaking . . .

Do we really want self-advocacy?

I had a meeting with a teacher and a union representative earlier this week over a scheduling issue. The issue was relatively complex in that by the letter of the contract we had probably not done anything wrong, but we had in my opinion we had unwittingly violated the spirit of the agreement. This was not intentional or malicious – but it was an issue or at minimum an oversight. And it was the fault of administration. I explained this… Read More »Do we really want self-advocacy?

My Advice for New Superintendents

About three months ago a few aspiring superintendents asked me what pieces of advice I would give a first year superintendent. I am sure it was an assignment for grad school – I am not that cool to be randomly approached. I rattled off a few things – that I deeply believe in – but I did not give it a ton of thought at the time. As I approach the end of my fourth year as a superintendent I… Read More »My Advice for New Superintendents

PSA for dads: Play Fortnite

This is written as a PSA for dads as I am one, but I assume everything said here would work for moms as well. My oldest son was five on the hardest day of my career. As a high school principal we had a student suddenly pass. I remember leading the building through a very difficult week and while I was emotional, I had not cracked. On Friday, the superintendent, my assistant principal, and I did the heart-wrenching work of… Read More »PSA for dads: Play Fortnite

This is getting serious . . .

I Love Public Education I love public education . . . and I am having a hard time sleeping at night. Here is why . . . About a week ago I was doing my due diligence as a school superintendent and engaging in a conversation with a state-level legislator. As my colleagues and I were discussing the growing teacher shortage in our area I felt as though the elected official was putting the impetus back on districts to do… Read More »This is getting serious . . .

#IAedchat Podcast

I was incredibly fortunate to hang out with the #IAedchat crew (1.28.18) and have a very REAL conversation about the state of teacher evaluation in our schools and what we can do to improve it. Check it out. https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/iaedchat/episodes/2018-01-28T19_34_10-08_00

It’s Time We Had a Talk

It’s Time We Had a Talk This year, the past year of your professional life, was the easiest year you will have the rest of your life. Yes, last year. Yes, the year when a new initiative was created by someone above you that you only half-heartedly agreed with. Yes, the year when the ‘tough’ class came through your classroom or building. That year. That year was easiest year of the rest of your career. Think that is impossible. Look… Read More »It’s Time We Had a Talk