It’s hard to believe a decade ago I walked through the front doors of this school unbelievably excited to be joining a different district and an unfamiliar school. After ten years of teaching, CHHS offered me my dream job of teaching English and I leapt at the opportunity. I was immediately welcomed by teachers, many of whom have left this great school for a variety of reasons: Brusky, Luyten, Jesse, Walker, McDougall, Morely, Goepen, McOuat, Stickle to name a few. I’m not sure how or when it happened, but gradually I became one of the “seasoned” teachers and the time left in front of my career is far shorter than the time that has passed. I have spent considerable time this past week reflecting on my time here and know I will miss this place. I owe everyone here for helping me grow as an educator and administrator; all of you have contributed in some way.
I have learned a lot during my tenure here to prepare me for my new role as a principal. Most importantly I have learned the importance of an administrator to facilitate and encourage teacher leadership, to empower and then get out of the way, to support from the background, to keep my ego in check and understand its about the students and the teachers, not about me. To be an instructional leader, but not necessarily the expert in everything. To listen more than to speak. To be a leader and a team player, not a manager. Without relationships where people feel valued, listen to and trusted there is only superficial and shallow progress. The single greatest influence on a student’s success is the teacher. If I have been successful with anything here it is because of the hard work of others; I take no credit for it.
I have laughed, argued, cried (maybe even yelled, before I Zenned out) here…this school has seen me at my worst and at my best. As I look around tonight and walk through the hallways, visit a couple of my favorite spots and box up my final belongings I feel sad, scared, excited, but mostly I feel proud to have been a member of this incredible community. When I look at the young teachers here and the not so young teachers I can’t wait to see the inevitable growth and improvements that are sure to come. The smartest person in the room, is the room, and oh what a room you have here.