As 2016 comes to a close, getting the opportunity to reflect has been amazing! Just a year and a half ago I was trying to finish school, juggling my job, busier than ever and always “stressed.” For some reason I decided to go back to school and I was doubting that choice for a short time. During the first semester we had a professor who gave me clarity on my choice and impacted my trajectory with his leadership.
Dr. McCullough taught our leadership class and lived in a way we should all aspire to achieve. The impact he made on me changed my attitude and who I strive to be. There was not one time during the semester he did not model positivity and joy. He was always positive with each student no matter the situation. He made me feel stronger than I believed I could be, and he inspired me not to be afraid to take a risk.
He wasn’t the “best” content teacher I’ve ever had. I say that with the utmost respect because he was one of the best leaders I have ever had the pleasure to learn from. We rarely used the textbook, but when his class ended all of us wanted to have him again second semester! I learned more about leadership and being positive from his example than any class content in my program. He led us by being positive, choosing joy, building people up and focusing on people’s strengths. The lesson he shared was any of us can chose to do “whatever it takes” to be successful.
As I get the opportunity to reflect on last year, I know why Dr. McCullough was my teacher, why I took the challenge to go back to school, and why our first semester at Star City Schools has been a great one. We chose our attitude. We chose to focus on the positive. While the district was at a low point financially, while people were jumping ship, and others lamented the past, we were busy setting our WHY and being positive. We established our moral purpose and adopted the simple phrase, “Whatever It Takes” as the mission. We got on the bus with Joy.
We will be successful at Star City Schools, we have great people who believe in each other and what we do. Being positive and knowing if I fall short that I can learn, has impacted me greatly. In our district, “Whatever It Takes” means positivity and learning to bounce back from failure together. This mission has helped us to overcome some large challenges.
In the end, one of the most important lessons in my life came from a challenge: Choosing and monitoring my own attitude and how it will impact my life. Thanks to the impact of Dr. M, I will be successful and I hope to IMPACT others positively in 2017, “Whatever It Takes.”