As I jump in on the #Reflection2017 train, I feel like my brain is overloaded with a spaghetti-filled array of memories.

To begin, my #OneWord2017 was #Advocate; I believe I nailed this the best I could. Not only was this my mantra in work and at school, but in my family life as well. Whether it be a student in need of services, a teacher wanting a letter of rec, my own kids needing support at school, or my father needing more help because of his physical and mental decline. I was an advocate for helping others get what they not only needed, but deserved.

It was an emotional and busy year. I moved my family back from WA to be closer to my Alzheimer’s suffering father in CA. We left a cute private school and headed to Davis, CA. New home. New schools. New friends. New adventures. New fears. New life.

The #Advocate word came into full gear this fall. My daughter was at a new Jr. High School, and had a teacher who thought homework was the most important aspect of life. After many emails, phone calls and ranting, I got her moved to a new class. My boy (3rd Grade) was being harassed at his school by another new student. The teacher, bless her soul did what she could, but again, many emails to the Principal, and we had it solved. To let you know of my son’s soul, he invited this boy who bothered him to his birthday party, as he wanted to help him become a friend!

While my experience at the private school in Washington wasn’t super amazing, it was an incredible growth opportunity. I give a ton of credit to Beth Houf and Shelley Burgess and the “Lead Like a Pirate” Book. It changed my life. My leadership style. My focus and my intentions. I joined some great groups and chats on @Twitter and @Voxer, which really opened up my connections to some amazing educators; teachers, admin, techies, librarians and more. I’ve dealt with physical pain of Sciatica and a pinched nerve in my back that has become so problematic and painful that it has adversely impacted my entire life, but I have faith, it will be restored.

I began working at a new school this fall. The district; Fairfield-Suisun Unified was familiar to me, as I had been there before, but I was now working at a new site. Without the #Leadlap mojo, I think the first five months would not have been as productive. Don’t get me wrong, there have been an immense amount of wins and challenges, but overseeing 805 students, 50 staff members, and about 1300 parents was a daunting task! The staff is moving in the right direction, and I’m constantly trying to coach, lead, facilitate, support and #Advocate for all members of our amazing community, each and everyday.

So, where am I today? Well, I’ve learned, failed, tried, laughed, cried, bled, grown and #Advocated. After following Jon Gordon’s #OneWord plan, I’ve come up with my own for 2018. It wasn’t easy, I tell you. Seeing things like More, Relentless, Possible, Reflect and others, my mind was wrestling until it became clear with #Faith. While I am a Christian and do have #Faith in God and the church, my #OneWord2018 is much deeper than that. My faith is much more extensive than that.

Faith, that our public schools will get the help we need to support ALL Students.
Faith, in our students, that they CAN achieve greatness.
Faith, in our teachers. For they will be able to understand, connect and love every child in his/her classroom, regardless of how they behave.

Faith, in myself as a father, husband, and Principal to do what I can and believe.
Faith, in our students, parents, community and country that we will do whatever it takes for our next generation to thrive and crush it.

And lastly, Faith in all people that Kindness will be a way of life. Every word, action, movement and gesture will be in the best interest of all, and that we will look to treat each other with love, generosity, gratitude and non-judgement.
Let’s do this in 2018 my friends, thank you to my #PLN and all those who have pushed me to become better. Every. Single. Day