Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The End of One Chapter and the Start of Another...

It is with an equal amount of conflict and excitement that I close one chapter of my life and begin a new one.

In June of 2006, I joined the Williamson County School District and immediately felt encouraged, empowered, and charged to create, innovate, and change learning environments for the better. I have absolutely considered it a privilege to lead, coach, teach, speak, communicate, share, collaborate, help, sweat, volunteer, laugh, cry, and learn with so many extraordinary colleagues, coaches, leaders, staff, parents, and most importantly... students. In many ways it feels like yesterday that a community in Northeast Williamson County partnered together by rolling up their sleeves to open up a brand new school, Sunset Middle School, a school that will forever have a special place in my heart. 

Then, in 2010, I was asked to assist in opening up another school in the Southern end of WCS. That year is one that I will never forget. I am forever indebted to School Principal, Paula Pulliam, for hiring me to lead with her. Her tireless efforts to serve her community is second to none. She is one of the most passionate, caring, selfless, servant-minded, driven, focused, generous, kind, BIG-hearted, human beings I have ever known. My blog post is not long enough to contain all of the positive qualities she exhibits. In short, she is amazing! I have learned so much from her leadership. I am forever grateful and in many ways consider this upcoming chapter in my life possible because of all she has invested in me. 

I want to now thank Spring Station Middle School. If you are in any way associated with #MustangNation, then I want to thank you. I appreciate your patience, partnership, collaboration, risk-taking, persistence, endurance, teamwork, passion, creativity, innovation, vision, accountability, help, assistance, etc. Simply put, you are an incredible bunch of colleagues, educators, students, parents, businesses, and overall community. We have done great things for student learning, school culture, community involvement, and positive life change and I am just so humbled to have had a front row seat. Thanks for allowing me to journey with you.  

I am now transitioning to a new chapter in my life. I greatly anticipate partnering with the Eakin Elementary School community to impact the surrounding community in positive ways. I am thankful to reunite with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. As an alum, I am proud to come back and serve my community. I will assume the role of Principal at Eakin Elementary on Friday, August 1st, and I consider it an honor and a privilege to do so. Just after I was notified that I was selected to lead the fabulous Eakin community, my mother confirmed with me that my late-father attended Eakin when he was a young boy. He was a boy who grew up in poverty near Edgehill and I am sure he would be proud to know I am now serving where he once roamed. I am so humbled to come full-circle and lead students who will one day have their own shot at coming back to contribute to the Eakin community. Go Eagles!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I am thankful for pain... here is why you should be too!

The video above is about a young lady that reminds us that "pain is one of life's greatest gifts." This case scenario challenges our preconceived notions of pain. In a world of prescription pain killers, serious stress reducers, numbing substances of all kinds, and an overall sense to rid ourselves of anything that would cause us harm; it is almost counter-intuitive to embrace the idea of pain and it's benefits.

No matter what you are going through... whether your circumstances are uncomfortable, cumbersome, hurtful, or even excruciatingly painful; there is something in that pain and discomfort for which you should be thankful.

Whether it is emotional hurt, physical pain, mental fatigue, relational and social stress, psychological discomfort; there is reason to be joyful. You see, it is all a matter of perspective. As in the video, pain is a key to living. Pain lets us know we are alive. Pain allows us to protect ourselves. It shows us when enough is enough and when to rest. It is simply human. We are living fully in our humanness when we experience hurt and pain.

Now, I am not a masochist, but I do know what it feels like to be hurt. I understand the problems of pain. I have undergone stressful situations. I have endured uncomfortable periods of my life. If I am honest, I did not like nor enjoy any of those periods. However, I can look back and see the purpose for those times and how the pain and even suffering at points allowed me to grow, learn, benefit, and ultimately LIVE!

Here is the challenge to us all: next time you are going through a tough time, a low point, a challenging circumstance, a stressful situation, or a painful period of life; think of the ways you can be thankful. How can you endure that time of your life with gratitude?

What do you say? Do you agree? Are you thankful for pain?