Friday, December 4, 2015


As I look back on 2015 (Wow, that sounds futuristic:), I realize how much I have grown from the support systems that surround me. Specifically, three support systems of professionals that have helped me grow and stretch my thinking.  The first group that has supported me and helped me grow professionally is the wonderful principal team that I work with. We meet formally every other week, but it's the informal meetings and sharing of ideas that has helped me as a school leader. Being able to call a colleague and share an issue or ask for advice on a topic is extremely beneficial. I also feel like my principal group are colleagues and not competitors. We share ideas, give honest feedback, and even disagree from time to time on issues, but always do so respectfully and with the intent of helping each other help students. I'm inspired by my colleagues in Livonia and always appreciate the support they give.

The second support system that has helped me grow as a professional is MEMSPA (Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal Association). I have been a part of this amazing organization on and off for over 13 years. While I've always benefited from the amazing educators in this group, it's only been recently that I've started to "give back" a little. Last year was the first time I presented at a conference and this year I am serving on the board. To be honest, my "giving back" has helped me grow as a professional by pushing me to do more and trying to emulate some of the inspirational leaders that I get to work with. From the weekly twitter chat of #MEMSPAchat to the annual winter conference and the summer leadership institute, I have gained new ideas, made new connections, and most importantly learned how to be a better educational leader.

Finally, I have to recognize my Twitter PLN (Professional Learning Network). It's hard to put into words how much I have learned, how much I have been inspired, and how much I have grown from the educational leaders I have connected with on Twitter. From the #CompelledTribe blogging group that pushes me to write and reflect and more importantly read the reflections of others, to thought provoking twitter chats like #TLAP (Teach Like a Pirate) #COLchat (Culture of Learning) #EDbeat and others, to those ed leaders who inspire me with their words of wisdom and innovative ideas. It's amazing to me that on a weekly basis I can connect with the best and brightest educators from around the world. What an exciting time to be an educator!

With our busy schedules, it can be hard to find the time to reflect on a school year. However, it can be so beneficial to see where we've come from and to determine where we want to go. When I look back on 2015, I am overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude toward those educators that I work with in my district, the leaders that I learn from in MEMSPA, and the educational heroes that I connect with on Twitter. Education is a team sport and together we can help all children succeed!

photo credit: City of Chicago


"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." - Thomas Paine

"Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him." - John Locke

"Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action." - Peter Drucker

"Reflection" - from the movie Mulan (3 minutes)


Monday, December 7: Window opens for Gallop Style Poll Grades 2-4
                                     Classrooms choose poster contest winners (Be Proactive)
                                     District Administrative Professional Development 8:00-11:30 am
Tuesday, December 8: PBS Committee 8:05 am
Wednesday, December 9: 504 Meeting Limberg/Boggs 8:20 am
                                        District Furniture Committee (Jon) at Central Office 1:00 pm
Thursday, December 10: No Staff Meeting
                                        Climate Goal Focus Group #1 at Board Room 8:20-10:45 am (Jon)
                                        Elementary Principal Meeting 1:00-4:30 pm
Friday, December 11: Winner of Poster Contest announced! (Be Proactive)

Tuesday, December 14: Christmas Carols in the Gym 3:00 pm 
Wednesday, December 16: Santa Secret Shop in Room 18
Thursday, December 17: Santa Secret Shop in Room 18
                                         Lunch in Classrooms
Friday, December 18: Staff Breakfast hosted by Joe & Diane in the Library 8:00 am
                                    Window closes for Gallop Style Poll Grades 2-4
                                     Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 pm


  1. Thanks for being a leader and sharing the WHY #Memeps message. Great reminders to help us grow as professionals.

    1. Thanks for reading Shanna and thank you all your positive leadership!

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  3. Jon, you make me want to do more! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thanks for leading a great discussion at MEMSPA. I gained some new ideas and was inspired by other principals with the same struggles and aspirations to do better for our school communities! ��