Sunday, April 3, 2016

Who's Your Champion?





"Every child deserves a champion: an adult that will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they be the best they can be." Rita Pierson

A week ago our community had to say a much too early goodbye to a champion of education. Mr. Bob Hogan was a champion to so many students, staff, parents and community members. I had the utmost privilege to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Hogan as principal of McIntire Elementary upon his retirement. Mr. Hogan served as my mentor, role model, comic relief, father figure and friend. Most of all, Mr. Hogan was a champion to me. He taught me so many important things about leadership that I could never learn in any class or professional development. As I've made decisions over the years, I've always thought to myself, "What would Mr. Hogan do?" I was honored to be asked to speak at Mr. Hogan's funeral service about his impact. I shared these important things that have helped to build my own leadership philosophy. Mr. Hogan reminded me to:

  • Keep the passion and fight for what's right in our noble profession that sometimes can get minimized to a fill in the bubble test. But....don't forget when to be more poodle and when to be more bulldog.
  • Take time to enjoy what you are personally passionate about. Take a personal day to go to the ballpark. Spend your weekend away from work. Enjoy life!
  • Always do what is best for kids, but remember to take care of those special people that are teaching our kids. 
  • Don't forget there is a time to ask for permission and when to ask for forgiveness.
  • It all comes down to relationships...with students, with staff, with parents, with the community, but most importantly with your own friends and family. Take time to enjoy the relationships in your life. Days are too short and you never know what the future holds.
  • Take your profession seriously, but not yourself.
  • Keep creating those unforgettable experiences for students, staff and your own kids. You just never know the influence it makes.

Mentors are hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget. Thank you, Mr. Hogan, for making the world a better place, with your passion, compassion and that big smile.

As I said goodbye to Mr. Hogan, it made me think of all of the other champions in my life that have helped make me the leader I am today. Our #LeadLAP challenge for this week is to take time to thank the champions in your life. Feel free to share a blog post, memory, or shout out to the #LeadLAP hashtag or if you would rather just share privately with your champions, that is wonderful as well. Shelley and I can't wait to hear about the incredible people in your lives. Have an wonderful week!

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