Courageous Leaders and Difficult Conversations
After a long winter, spring can be an exciting and energizing time of year; however, for school administrators, it is also the season of difficult conversations, evaluations and staff non-renewals. These tough conversations are often accompanied by high stress and anxiety, which quickly add to the already complex roller coaster ride of school administration. As a school administrator,… (2 comments)

Feed That Pig!
During my first year as superintendent at a small rural school district in Colorado, I attended a leadership meeting with other school leaders from across the state. I learned so much, with such a steep learning curve for a rookie, but one quote from a pig farmer and now superintendent on the eastern plains of…

Are You a Joyful Leader?
When I started teaching almost 20 years ago, everything was new and my days were filled with joy and discovery. I loved spending time with my students, especially the ornery ones, since I was quite a handful for my teachers when I was a kid. Little did I know that my frequent trips to the principal's office, sitting on the "white bench" waiting for dreaded discipline, would give me valuable knowledge and insight into being a school leader.… (2 comments)

If Not You, Then Who?
American philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey stated, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” Knowledge and information are increasing at unprecedented rates. The teacher is no longer "the sage on the stage." As a result, education must change to keep pace or traditional schools will become obsolete, like Blockbuster video rental stores of the past.…

Prioritizing Relationships
In my new role as superintendent and high school principal, especially during the first semester, I often found myself struggling to find time to complete multiple tasks. It seemed like I solved problems all day long, with everything being urgent and needing immediate attention. I quickly found that I was neglecting relationships with my family, my colleagues, and…

Transforming Professional Learning
As a classroom teacher for 15 years, I have attended many required professional development activities designed to make me better. Administration required and I complied. Unfortunately, I usually found compulsory PD irrelevant and not immediately applicable in my classroom. I sat through one boring lecture after another, eyes glossy from 100 slide PowerPoints, and left feeling like I…

Empowering Teachers Through Collaboration
As educators, we are constantly bombarded with educational mandates and initiatives, the silver bullets that will fix everything. Over the years, especially as a teacher, I often felt like one log after another was thrown onto the educational fire, without ever emptying the ashes. Usually, these mandates and new school initiatives were forced upon me, an…

Is Your School Future Ready?
As we work towards a new or renovated school at Mountain Valley, I often ponder the following questions: What does a school of the future look like? Can the schools of yesterday meet the needs of tomorrow’s students? A recent interview with Mark Wagner, CEO of EdTechTeam, helped me find answers to these questions. With…

It’s Going to be a Great Year!
It is hard to believe that 2017 is already here! At Mountain Valley School District, we are working hard bring positive change into the new year, change that includes improved relationships, instruction, technology and facilities. These improvements are a team effort, and I would like to thank all Mountain Valley staff, students, parents and community members for their continued support and efforts as we strive to empower and prepare every student for lifelong academic success and personal growth. …