Purposeful leadership demands civility

“With malice toward none, with charity for all” are the sentiments President Abraham Lincoln shared in his second inaugural address.Lincoln’s leadership, steadfast in his beliefs while compassionate in his approach, reunited a country ravaged by civil war.  Lincoln’s desire “to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle” is apropos to today’s cultural environment.
I feel it is essential to model and display kindness, humility, and patience as Lincoln said, “…with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right.” Some in our society today have chosen vitriolic attacks on those who do not share their particular views. Social media and electronic

communications tools have provided the opportunity to use venomous pros and caustic attacks when disagreements surface. Passionate attacks have replaced civil discussions, acceptance of differing opinions is met with personal degradation, and taking the time to stand in another’s shoes has been dismissed as a sign of weakness.

As an educational leader I feel a great responsibility to lead by example. My example not only sets the tone for interaction with our Tiger Family, my example serves as a model the students in our care. 2013 will bring a myriad of challenges, but with those challenges are wonderful opportunities. I will engage the varied constituencies I serve with humility, kindness and charity. Vigorous debate, active listening and respectful deliberation are essential to a strong organization. Our district is a special place – a place of genuine caring, nurturing and growth. We are bound together by conviction to the next generation. There is no place for malice, no room for caustic attacks and no time for distractions. As your superintendent my pledge is to lead with charity and kindness

while remaining humbly steadfast to the values, convictions and foundation that I hold true.


  1. Chad Sansing said:

    It’s always heartening to hear about schools and divisions that provide kids with “a place of genuine caring, nurturing and growth.” Glad to find you here, John –

    All the best,

    January 15, 2013

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