Thursday, December 30, 2021


Seven years ago I learned about the one-word initiative Jon Gordon wrote about in his book, "One Word that will Change Your Life" that encourages people to identify one word that will be their driving force for the year (instead of a list of resolutions that are often hard to accomplish/attain).

My one word for 2022 is courage. I chose this word because I believe that courage has been needed and embraced by all of us as we continue to navigate this pandemic together.  We need the courage to engage in meaningful and honest conversations about our work and our lives. We need courage to actively listen and be open to new possibilities. 

I will keep this word in mind every day. I will keep this word in my mind every day at home and at work with the goal that I am a courageous wife, mom, friend, educator, colleague, and someone in whom you can place your confidence. I will also look for examples of courageous behaviors in different settings and situations in all areas of my life. I will let courage be my focus in 2022.

"COURAGE" by Glen Phillips 
My husband Michael and I have always loved Glen Philips, but we haven't listened to his music for several years.  This week we decided to listen to him while in the car driving to hang pictures in my new school office.  When this song came on it confirmed that courage would be my #oneword2022. Take a listen! 

What is your #oneword2022? This One Word 365 website might give you some inspiration if you need help getting started! 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Look for the Helpers


Look for the Helpers

It has been almost a full year that we have been navigating life and education in a pandemic.  We are finally able to welcome students back into our school building this Wednesday.  Some students have not been in our building since last March.  Some have never been in our building.  As a school leader, I have the privilege of reminding and supporting our amazing educators of their ability to navigate this next phase in our work this year.  

This week I reflected on how best to do this.

I found peace and comfort in the words of Fred Rogers, and his message to "look for the helpers". Take a listen (only 1 minute).

I also read Adam Grant's new book, "Think Again" and I'm holding onto the way he differentiates confidence in tools versus our ability to learn. 

And then I took a trip down memory lane and searched my google drive, emails, Twitter posts, and more to tell the story of our pandemic journey to date.  I dropped all of these pieces into google slides and then created this video for our staff.  

My hope is that this "scrapbook of helpers and learners" makes staff smile and feel a tremendous sense of pride and confidence in themselves as learners. 

We are helpers.  We are learners. We are ready. 

Thursday, December 31, 2020


Six years ago I learned about the one-word initiative Jon Gordon wrote about in his book, "One Word that will Change Your Lifethat encourages people to identify one word that will be their driving force for the year (instead of a list of resolutions that are often hard to accomplish/attain).

I selected the following words over the years: believe (2016), wonder (2017), trust (2018), empower (2019) and see in 2020.

My one-word for 2021 is hope.  I chose this word after reflecting on living and leading through a pandemic and spending several hours watching and rewatching this commencement speech given by William McRaven, US Navy Admiral to the graduates at the University of Texas seven years ago.  I thought about the current needs of everyone in my life- my family, my friends, my colleagues, my students, and my community.  In his speech, Admiral McRaven suggests that one person can change the world by giving people hope. Right now- in the midst of so much unknown- we all need hope.  Admiral McRaven's words have truly inspired me to enter 2021 with a positive mindset despite the challenges and unknowns I am sure we will all face. His words lead me to select hope for my one-word and I am committed to living and leading with hope every day in this new year.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Honest Thoughts

I have read and processed these two quotes several times over the past few days and wanted to share my thinking with the hopes that my vulnerability helps other educators feel comfortable enough to share their thinking, too!

How are you getting through? Please share and connect below!  

Thursday, July 9, 2020

We're going to be ok!

Today I was reminded of WHY I do this work. I was talking with some teachers about school reopening. There are so many unknowns and so many fears that we all are feeling- all warranted and valid. I am grateful that I work with educators who are willing to share their honest concerns and work together to do what is best for our students.

I am committed to creating a safe space for educators. I want them to remain passionate about their work, love their students, and to grow their practice. This is especially important as we continue to navigate the many unknowns of this pandemic. I truly believe that when educators are in a “safe place” to share their thinking and feel genuinely supported all of our children will get what they need. Educators have such amazing minds and sometimes the many demands of the work can get in the way. I am committed to working through these barriers with educators every day. I lead with my heart and will never stop doing that. This is a blessing and a curse, but in the end, I know that my honesty and love for all things teaching and learning will make a difference someday. We are in this together. We can never forget this. EVER. This is why we're going to be ok.

Below is a brief video I shared with our staff today at lunchtime (that was a part of an update newsletter). I hope it inspires others to do the same.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Be a Moment Maker!

There is a little boy in the classroom that is next to my office that has the brightest smile and gives the tightest hugs. He has the power to take my mind away from the intensity of the problems of the day and remind me of what matters most in my school- relationships.

A few weeks ago he asked to take his earned break with me and I was honored. He came into my office, we played with magnetic shapes and designed a house with a long driveway, and then he gave me a list of supplies to purchase for our next break together. He asked for balloons, straws, and tape (and possibly some glue). I had no idea what he wanted to make and he said he wanted to surprise me.

This past week I finally had all of the supplies and on Thursday he came to my office to create his masterpiece. I already had a “big kid” in my office, so the little boy took on the role of teaching both me and the “big kid” what to do. He instructed each of us to get two balloons and two straws. We helped one another one step at a time, and we ended up making a fidget tool that looks like the drawing below.

This little boy was filled with so much pride and excitement. He was jumping up and down- it seemed like he couldn’t believe it actually worked! Not only had he taught me how to make his creation, but he also taught a big kid (who was otherwise having a tough day).

I am so grateful that I had this experience. This is a moment of “unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meaning can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am committed to the very challenging work of being an educational leader and I will continue to prioritize moments like this with students (and staff).

Monday, December 30, 2019


Five years ago I learned about the one-word initiative Jon Gordon wrote about in his book, "One Word that will Change Your Lifethat encourages people to identify one word that will be their driving force for the year (instead of a list of resolutions that are often hard to accomplish/attain).

I selected the following words over the years: believe (2016), wonder (2017), trust (2018), and empower (2019).

I have always been a go-getter and a worker.  I decided to take 6 vacation days to enjoy winter break with my family this year and I have to admit that I don't like where my mind is going.  I am exhausted- actually I'm burnt out.  I have always loved education and I have been committed to students, teachers, and families that I serve, but this vacation I have been thinking about my future differently.  I'm not trying to be negative, but I am trying to be honest. I have been missing out on so much of my life because I have been working too much.  I should be able to work hard and still be present for my family and friends.  I don't want to miss any more of my children's basketball games or be cooking dinner at 8:00pm because I was working late.

I need to refocus in 2020 and that is why my #oneword2020 is see.  I hope that seeing will allow me to be more present for others and for myself.

Over the next few days, I encourage all of you to take some time to determine your one word for 2020.

In addition, I suggest looking at this #oneword365 website to connect with people around the globe and to get a list of suggested words or check out this great collection of #oneword2020 from @mjjohnson1216 !