Sunday, August 11, 2013

Why I Lead #SAVMP

Why do I lead? My experiences in public education over the past ten years have lead me to discover the answer to this question. I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of school settings in different roles. The daily changes that substitute teaching brought was a welcomed challenge. As a high school math teacher I was fortunate to work with a great group of educators, students, and parents. My first few years teaching taught me a tremendous amount about myself, while offering me an amazing sense of reward.  My adventures in administration have by far given me my toughest issues, yet have also helped me to uncover my true calling in education, to lead.

About three years into my teaching career a colleague was beginning an administrative program and asked me to join her. Initially I was more excited about the intellectual conversations that I knew would happen as I pursued a master's degree, but somewhere in the process I began understanding why I was there. My experiences left me with a strong sense of responsibility and passion that inspires me to lead. I believe that every child deserves an education and opportunities that will allow them to achieve their potential, dreams, and leave their mark on the world. 

As a math teacher I was able to build relationships with students and colleagues that were very fulfilling, but as I studied leadership and education reform my dreams grew and I felt a need to expand my influence. When I see the impact that people like Daniel Levin and Mike Feinberg have made on students' lives through the creation of the KIPP Foundation, I feel empowered and responsible to make my own contribution to education.  

I lead because I was born to do this. 
I lead to make my mark on education. 
I lead because I have been blessed with opportunities that allow me to contribute.
I lead because I believe in the power of education.   

Thursday, August 2, 2012

edCamp Oshkosh

Yesterday we had tons of phenomenal educators come out and spend the day at UW-Oshkosh's Sage Hall and learn together. What a fabulous end to our months of planning for the first edCamp Oshkosh!

I met lots of new people, many I recognized from their Twitter picture, and had a great time networking with everyone! It was great to share what Oshkosh is doing with Google Sites and learn from other districts like Fond du Lac and their Chrome Book Journey.

We were excited to talk with a team that hopes to begin planning an edCamp Madison, sharing some tips from the edCamp Milwaukee organizers and our own experiences.

By far the highlight of my day was the Lip Dub video created in Session 4, edCamp Oshkosh 2012 Lip Dub A great reminder of why I love working in education!

Check out the Twitter feed, #oshedcamp, for lots of information shared at edCamp Oshkosh and our website as we post pictures from the event,

Thank you to Jeff See and Kristi Levy for being so much fun to work with - can't wait to get started planning edCamp Oshkosh 2013!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer 2012

I have been fortunate to be an Assistant Principal at West High School for the past two years. I have learned a tremendous amount in that short time and I was able to take some time this summer to reflect on how far I have come and challenge myself with some new opportunities.

This summer marked a couple of firsts for me. I began my Doctorate Program through Cardinal Stritch University and was also able to attend the International Society for Technology in Education's annual conference. Both experiences were very rich and have transformed my thinking as an educational leader.

Cardinal Stritch University
Cardinal Stritch began with a two week Summer Institute. We gathered as cohorts from all three years of the program to hear guest speakers, discuss our readings, and discuss the ideas of leadership, learning, and service. I left the institute exhausted and inspired by a new sense of meaning to my role in education stated best by Robert Greenleaf, "It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead..."

The International Society for Technology in Education's 33rd annual conference was held in beautiful San Diego, California. The conference theme was "Expanding Horizons" and that is exactly what the experiences did for me. I joined thousands of educators for a week of collaboration, networking, workshops, and fabulous speakers. I left ISTE inspired by lots of fresh ideas, creative perspectives, and thinking about technology's place in education at a much deeper level. I am excited to begin this year and share my findings with staff and discuss with them how we will grow together to implement changes in our practice that will enhance our students' experiences at West High School.