Tomorrow morning our entire Learning Leadership Team (LLT) will be heading to St. Michael School in Pincher Creek for our first meeting of the school year. It will be a relatively short meeting as we plan to head out to Castle Mountain for our retreat shortly after lunch. The LLT is made up of senior administration, principals, associate principals and our early learning coordinator. The ability for our entire team to get together for two days prior to the start of the year is awesome and will be particularly beneficial for demonstrating our culture to our new administrators.
I’m beginning my third year as Superintendent of Holy Spirit Catholic Schools and like my previous two opening meetings, I feel a great sense of excitement and a few jitters as well. The excitement piece is pretty self explanatory or should be. I’m a firm believer that when I’m not excited about the start of a school year it is time to get out of the profession. The jitters however are a little bit more complex. I would tend to believe that the LLT knows me fairly well and knows that I speak from the heart. Although actions speak louder than words, opening words can set a tone for the year either positively or negatively.
I’m very proud of the accomplishments of our school division over the past number of years. You don’t get the results we have and changes required to meet the needs of the 21st Century Learner without a whole bunch of committed educators and dedicated staff. But to continually improve requires both pressure and support, stability and change. It is not only critical for a leader to know when to exercise both but as importantly to communicate the need for both. Opening addresses need to inspire but also be realistic. Leaders need to find that balance to be truly seen as authentic.
Tomorrow when I meet with our LLT, I want to demonstrate my excitement for the coming year and also communicate a realism of our current conditions. Honesty and integrity are non-negotiable to ensure that our school leaders are instilled with a sense of hope and can translate that hope to their own staff, students and communities.
Wish me luck!