New Beginnings: They Will Never Really Be Gone

I am honored to continue serving my district as the next principal of Alton Darby Elementary. The goal of this blog was to document my journey to the principalship because I wanted others who might have been interested in educational administration to see what the journey may be like if they decided to take it. Now that I have accepted a position as principal, I will shift my attention to the transition period that has already begun to take place. I am excited to start documenting these reflections through a blog series called “New Beginnings”.

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As each day passes, I feel like I am becoming more involved with in the Alton Darby community. I am having more conversations with teachers, parents, and students, receiving more emails, and I am thinking more and more about the future. Meanwhile, I am wrapping up projects that I am currently working on at Hilliard Horizon Elementary.

Hilliard Horizon students and families are finding out that I now have the opportunity to lead with the Alton Darby community and I’m having more conversations that feel like I’m saying “goodbye”. Those conversations can be tough because of what the students, families and teachers of Hilliard Horizon Elementary mean to me.

This past March, I had to say goodbye to my dog Sadie who lived 13 fun-filled years with me. Sadie was a black lab who was full of life and acted like she was throwing a surprise party every time I came home. Sadie was special because she was there for some of the biggest life-changing events in my life. College graduation, marriage, my first home, the birth of my daughters – She was there for it all.

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Sadie catching a nap in the sun.

That’s what made saying goodbye so hard to do. She had become apart of who I am today, which made me realize something important about saying goodbye: The people who matter the most in our lives will never really be gone.

The five years that I have spent with the Hilliard Horizon community has forever changed me. It’s where I learned to be a better teacher. It’s where I learned the importance of working with families to support their son or daughter. And it’s where I learned to take risks with new ideas and to not be afraid to fail. The experiences I had and the people I worked with and learned from these past five years have changed me into the educator I am today. It is not possible to say goodbye to that.

This transition into the principalship has been an important reminder for me that the impact we have on others is immeasurable. There is no method that can quantify our relationships in a way that captures how others change us. Maya Angelou reminds us:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So as I spend these last few weeks saying goodbye to the students, families, and teachers that I have worked with over the past five years, I know that they will never really be gone. They have changed me in a way that will always make them apart who I am.

Check out this song by Imagine Dragons called “It’s Time”. It holds a new meaning for me these days as I face this turning point in my life. Enjoy!

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