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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine

The last three days of professional development activities have provided me with several opportunities to engage with the staff at Molly Stark Elementary School. The staff is impressive, and the members reflected a desire to inspire. These experiences were productive and served to cultivate the direction, scope and meaning for our collective efforts this year. We will make magic, meaning, and memories on Monday when we open the school year.

A teacher asked me why I chose to accept the position of principal at Molly Stark, rather than search for a role at a more accomplished school. My response echoed a remark made many years ago by one of my heroes, Thomas Paine. Paine, the author of many profound essays that sparked the spirits of Americans during the revolutionary war era, such as "The Crisis," was confronted by Benjamin Franklin's statement - "You will find me where you find liberty." He responded by saying, "You will find me where there is not liberty." Paine was committed to liberating those who were oppressed and denied freedom. In fact, after spurring on the populace in America with his passionate and patriotic words Paine went to France and promoted the efforts of the French to overthrow the ruling monarchy.

My career is a documented path of work designed to elevate the performance of under-served school populations burdened by low expectations, depressed levels of confidence, and untapped potential. The prospect of experiencing success and observing the personal growth that emerges from improvement is motivational. It's an exhilarating experience that I look forward to celebrating with our staff in the not so distant future.

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