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Recognition + Gratitude

Recognition // We all want to know that what we do matters. That we are seen. That the efforts we put in day after day mean something. There’s a reason we call it the daily grind. Because going to work (or school or caregiving or honestly just existing) each day can feel like that. Grinding away. That we are being slowly crushed or reduced. Our capacity feels like it becomes smaller. Our energy is less. Our enthusiasm wanes.

And then someone comments in a genuine and authentic way about what we are doing. They take notice. An unexpected “good job” or “thanks” all of a sudden turns that grind the other direction. It builds us up. Our spirits are bolstered. We hold our heads a little higher. Our energy seems to be replenished. It happens in a thousand different ways- big and small. But wow, how quickly and drastically the atmosphere changes when it happens.

I had the absolute honor and privilege to be the recipient of the Christian G. Sullivan Strength in Leadership award this last May at my school. It’s presented to one whose leadership has actively enhanced the mission of the schools, and demonstrates characteristics of vision, creativity, accountability, intellectual curiosity and decisiveness in matters familiar and challenging.

As an educator- I am acutely aware of those whose leadership and education in my own life have shaped me. Thank you for giving of yourselves to teach me. To mentor me. To challenge and correct me. Pushing me to dream, think critically, be confident in who I am, while also learning to step back and listen to others.

-----------------------"A rare blend of strategic thinking, business acumen and bottomless empathy"------------------------------

While I’m still opinionated, strong willed, perfectionistic, sometimes a little too detail oriented and have a hard time biting my tongue, I like to think those qualities are a little more refined and matured than they were at 10, 16 and 27. I know I occupied leadership spaces before I was ready for them and while those failures were hard to swallow and humbling- I am also grateful for the learning moments as they led me to those qualities that were noted above.

Grateful to those who were (and are) willing to let me try and then help me understand what went wrong. To you who have helped me learn to settle into being me. And to my students who trust me to lead and also have grace for me as I continue to grow and learn from you- thank you.

May we enter spaces with humility, soaking in the wisdom that exists there. Be bold enough to use our voice and take our place in making this world better. And be courageous enough to pass it on, to let others shine and know that it doesn't dim our light - only makes the world brighter.

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