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I recently returned from Ignite 2016 in Orlando were I had the good fortune of representing my professional associations – School Administrators of Iowa (SAI) and The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Like many of my colleagues, I am extremely proud of what I do for a living. Being a high school principal has been one of the greatest joys of my life. There are still days I reflect on my journey and just shake my head in disbelief. I never take for granted what I do for a living and I am genuinely grateful for the opportunities I have been given to make an impact on members of my school community as well as in my profession.

We have officially entered one of my favorite times of the school year….hiring season.  I have spent a great deal of time over the years reflecting on the interview process and trying to determine what makes a great hire.  Why is it some individuals stand out more than others?  What is it that makes us want to say to some candidates, “you’re hired” before they ever leave the interview room? I’ve spoken openly about my thoughts on the hiring process and how we as leaders often set the tone (good or bad) on the selection, onboarding, growing and developing of new teachers into our organizations by how we manage the hiring process.  I have shared with other school leaders my

What we do as school leaders can echo for eternity in the lives of our students, staff and school communities.  That is the beauty of what we do.  We serve in a profession where every day we are blessed with the opportunity to help change the course of someone’s life by our words, our actions and our belief in their ability to leave their mark on others and in their community.  Everyone deserves the opportunity to be a part of something great and moreover, leave their legacy.  That can only happen if we as school leaders are doing our part to cultivate an environment where students and staff are given permission to shift their thinking and are inspired to change

Every so often someone in my PLN will reach out to me to discuss a potential new job. Of course, I am always flattered anytime someone seeks my advice on something I understand is near and dear to their heart.  We have all been there and quite frankly, many of us will be there again.  For those who have held a single job or position for as long as you can remember, I am genuinely happy for you as long as you love what you do and couldn’t envision doing anything else. Interestingly enough, for whatever reason, I have spoken privately with eight different people in the last month who are struggling with the very question many of us have contemplated

I still remember the day my baseball coach stopped by my house to pick up my uniform.   I had quit the team out of frustration because I wasn’t playing as much as I thought I should be.  I had been successful at every level I had played and was the starting center fielder and lead-off hitter for our varsity team until an injury took me out of the line-up.  I didn’t want to quit, but as a 17 year old kid I lacked the social emotional skills and maturity to work through this low point in my life on my own.  After all, I was healthy again and felt I deserved to have my starting spot back, but instead, I

Over the past two weeks I have been a part of several conversations with teachers, students, parents, principals, and aspiring administrators about the challenges that come with being a building principal.  The conversation caused me to reflect on the work we do on a daily basis as building leaders and to determine what is it exactly that causes others to say, “I would never want your job.” The truth is I am worried about the long term impact of potential principal candidates because of the perception that is often associated with the work that we do. These perceptions lead others to believe that being a principal is not worth it and that makes me sad.  We need to combat this perception