Guest Post: We are building something Exceptional Here, A Welcome Letter for the New School Year

Dr. Brett Jacobsen is Head of School at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta and a blogger at Design Movement: 21st century Learning and Leadership.   This week he shared on his blog his welcome letter to his administrative colleagues, and it is terrific: inspirational, forward-looking, action oriented.  I thought it was worth sharing with principals and school-leaders here at Connected Principals, and he kindly gave me his permission to do so.

Brett explained to me he took inspiration from the letter Apple provides to its new employees, an example of which can be seen here.

The original post can be found here.

Today kicked off The Year of Collaboration at my school where I have the privilege to serve alongside some of the highest performing people I have ever been around. At each seat, the following letter awaited their arrival.


Moment. You have arrived at an extraordinary moment.

In this moment, start with questions, not answers.

Fail up.


Have fun.

We are not interested in red tape, fixed mindsets, low expectations, or blending in. We are interested in solution seekers, ethical decision-makers, communicators, creative thinkers, collaborators, and innovators.

We are building something exceptional here. We need the work of your hands, the wisdom of your mind, and the discernment of your heart.

Become the most of something in your field. Look at the familiar as if you have never seen it before. Search for new ideas in new places.

Welcome to The Year of Collaboration.  At our respective schools, may this be a year that we stop making a case for change because change on a global scale has already taken place – technology, financial markets, and shifts in education. Collaborate – our students deserve it.


  1. […] how to put this into action, I read Jonathan Martin’s guest post on Connected Principals, We are building something Exceptional Here, A Welcome Letter for the New School Year, where he shared how another administrator, Dr. Brett Martin, had also been inspired by the Apple […]

    September 9, 2012
  2. […] Reviewing my blog entries for 2012 and reflecting on the emails, phone calls, and responses to them, I am reposting Welcome Letter to Mount Vernon Team.  Special thanks to Jonathan Martin as he posted it with Connected Principals. […]

    December 30, 2012

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