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Showing posts from 2013

Pin Drop Powerful

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Wednesday I had the privilege of hearing David and Tina Long speak. Their son, Tyler, is one of the students featured in the film Bully. David is the first person to speak in the film's trailer. He and Tina were brought to Iowa by the excellent UNI Center for Violence Prevention.

I was fortunate to serve as a panelist a year ago when the film's director Lee Hirsch and co-writer Cynthia Lowen visited campus for a screening. It was an honor to be asked to offer something to this important discussion and I tried to share lessons I learned from the kids featured in my book, The Principal's Challenge.

Since Tyler hanged himself in his closet after enduring years of bullying from peers, the Longs have been on a crusade to raise awareness and empower educators and communities to take action. They recently launched their own non-profit, Everything Starts With 1, which also has a Facebook presence. Their efforts have landed them on GMAEllen, Hannity and on countless news programs…

You're Welcome and Thanks

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Several years ago, we were busy revising our principalship program. We were fortunate that our process coincided with an upcoming visit from the Iowa Department of Education, which happens every seven years. A few weeks after the state visitors left, we hosted two additional reviewers from other universities who would review our program as part of a university-required process. Both were a ton of work but very well timed. It was a busy spring.

As we met as a team to determine what changes we felt would strengthen our program's ability to develop and nurture difference-making principals, we stuck closely to our mission statement and core values, which we had sharpened and put in graphic form in all of our offices a couple years before. We knew firsthand the stresses of being school administrators and the danger of taking on so many things and losing oneself in the process. At that point, our well intended attempt at cautioning our students against the dangers of job stress was lim…

Guest Blog: Unexpectedly Moved

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This edition of The Balcony View is guest written by Jamie Cranston, an aspiring school leader in the All-Iowa Principalship cohort at UNI. Jamie currently serves as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and Preschool Site Coordinator for the Newton Community School District.


Setting the Stage:
In early June I attended a special education conference in Des Moines with many of the administrators in my district. This conference was a first time experience for me. I had never attended a conference that focuses only on special education or even one that administrators attend. I am not sure that I have ever even attended a conference where lunch was provided!
While waiting for the conference to begin I was looking at the different options for workshops to attend and mapping out my day. I looked up from my very important work to see a group of special needs students standing at the end of the stage with parents and an instructor. They began moving onto the stage
One or two of the da…