Tag: Personal

I don’t know about you, but it seems like every waking hour has been spent adjusting to a new normal, and the idea of relaxing almost seems unkind when you think of all the sacrifices people are making during times like this. In Oklahoma, school leader…

Read More PMP193: Taking a Music Break from COVID-19

What stories have shaped your own leadership journey? I recently finished reading, Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, Tara Westover grew up in a rural Idaho with parents who embraced radical ideologies, including n…

Read More PMP185: The Power Sharing of Your Own Story

Just like you, I can think of many reasons to worry about the future or raise concerns about trends that have developed over the past decade. Whether that includes increases in school shootings, soaring health care costs, rises in the costs of educatio…

Read More PMP178: 10 Positive Takeaways from the Past Decade

When I was in college, I had a blue 1981 Toyota Celica that overheated on the long trip to Oklahoma, and the engine burned up. It was my first car. I had bought it with the money I earned over summers as a shell diver in the Kentucky Lake area.  But now it was toast, […]

Read More PMP173: Lessons in Leadership from Your Scars

Six years ago, on October 31, 2013, my son Jack was eight years old. We had just finished an amazing day of trick-or-treating, and he asked if he could change back into his normal clothes. This was a big deal because he had been wearing a hosptial gown for almost ten days. On this Halloween, […]

Read More PMP:171 Four Lessons in Teamwork from my Son’s Hospital Stay

Last week was the first time (except for a rare Christmas holiday) that I have not shared a blog post or podcast episode update in almost five years. At first, I thought it was because I’ve been so busy. Last weekend I flew to Florida for my nephew’s wedding. Then on Monday, I flew from […]

Read More PMP167: Keeping Your Leadership Focused on Service, Not Self

A few nights ago I was sitting in a theater with my wife watching the movie, Yesterday, starring Himesh Patel and Lily James. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I do want to say I was completely affected by the nostalgia and its focus on the legacy of Beatles music. In fact, […]

Read More PMP158: Why Telling Your Own Story Matters

Two years ago, my oldest daughter graduated from the high school where I was principal. When she headed off to college that fall, it was a mix of celebration and grief on my part. Recently, Jen Schwanke and I co-hosted two podcast episodes on Parenting as Principals. You can check them out here: Part 1 […]

Read More PMPEncore077: Four Tips for Dads as Principals

This week’s post is an encore episode I shared a couple of years ago. Since I’m enjoying some vacation, I thought I would remind you why your time away from school may help you better serve your school. Regardless of whether someone is an educator or not, or whether your vacation time is long or […]

Read More PMPEncore028: Four Reasons Your Vacation Matters

A few years ago, we had a lockdown drill at the high school where I was principal. Local police had called to say they were aware of a potential threat against our school on social media. They were locating the person of interest in a location outside the school community but wanted us to lockdown […]

Read More PMP155: Parenting as Principals – Do’s and Don’ts, Part 2

Oklahoma has experienced its share of storms and severe weather this spring. The other day, our family was sitting in our storm closet as sirens were sounding at 6:30AM. Afterwards, I was driving my seventh-grade son, Jack, to school. As we approached the school, I began to predict how his principals would manage the morning. […]

Read More PMP154: Parenting as Principals – Do’s and Don’ts, Part 1

When Principal Jen Schwanke was talking to one of her teachers about the importance of balance, her teacher asked an honest question. “Why should I do this when you don’t?”  Jen realized then that she had been modeling bad habits for her teachers. For instance, when she sent emails to teachers at 10:00 PM, she […]

Read More PMP153: Maintaining Balance and Focusing on What Matters, Part 2

We just celebrated Mother’s Day. This time of year is a good reminder that our families play such an important role in our lives outside of school. No matter how many principals I visit, one conversation comes up often: how to maintain balance and stay focused on what matters even while leading a school. Although […]

Read More PMP152: Maintaining Balance and Staying Focused on What Matters

A few years ago, I sat across my desk from a student whose father had abandoned him and left the state. A family in our community had taken in the young man, and our school had been in contact with the Department of Human Services on what to do next. That morning I had been […]

Read More PMPEncore109: The Power of One Caring Adult with Josh Shipp

Have you ever felt overwhelmed in trying to balance priorities? If you’re like me, you can probably think of more than once where student discipline, parent concerns, and teacher feedback provided you more tasks than you could complete in a day. No matter whether you are a new principal or a veteran leader, here’s a […]

Read More PMP:146 Good Habits for Balancing Priorities

Next week, I have the privilege of gathering together with educators and school leaders for a Leadership & Learning Conference in Norman, Oklahoma. Guest speakers Jeff Zoul, Jack Berckemeyer, and Christine Handy will be on hand to share best practices. I’m looking forward to circling up with other educators who enjoy being life-long learners. Gearing […]

Read More PMP:Encore079 Whose Permission Are You Waiting For?

For those who follow my blog and podcast, I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season, and I wanted to offer you best wishes on the New Year. It’s been a blessed year on the home front. In 2018, my wife, Missy, and I celebrated our 25th anniversary. Our four children are healthy — with […]

Read More Principal Matters – Year in Review

I’ve been on the road a lot lately. And as I travel, I often think about how to reach my destination while also making the experience a positive one. For me, that means trying to learn while I drive by listening to helpful podcasts, audio-books, or news programs. Or sometimes it means connecting with friends […]

Read More PMP:136 Crucial Conversations for Reaching Targeted Destinations

Five years ago this month, our son Jack was diagnosed with a rare disease called Kawasaki that brought our normal world to a stand still as we circled together searching for answers and praying for his healing. The disease inflames the blood vessel, and if untreated, it can be fatal. As I look back at […]

Read More PMP:133 Three Reasons to be Thankful