Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No More Bullying.....

October is Bullying Awareness month. I'm so proud of the students at YPS as they work hard to put an end to bullying. Check out this awesome video that some YMS students made in Mr. Maltsberger's class. EVERYONE needs to be accepting of others. We all need to dream big. We all need to lend a hand. We all need to help others. Do YOUR part to make York a better place. Be kind. Be sincere.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What's YOUR Story?

Nineteen years ago today I was living the dream as a 3rd grade teacher and football and basketball coach at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. I had just married a beautiful young lady from Omaha and I figured we’d put in two or three years in Kansas before I would convince her that we needed to move to my home state of Florida where I could teach and coach from August through May and then go fishing and frog gigging all summer.

It’s funny how things turn out!

As I arrived at my house in Atchison, Kansas after my last official contract day of my first year as a teacher, I remember the elation and sense of accomplishment that I had. I was already dreaming about how many fish I was going to catch and how many homeruns I was going to hit in summer softball tournaments. That’s when my wife told me that she had signed me up for the educational administration program at Benedictine College where we met as undergrads.

I was none too pleased to say the least. This was a total shocker. The only time we had even discussed the word “principal” was when I told her of some of my troubled times as a student in Ocala, Florida where the principals at my various schools were rather “familiar” with me, if you know what I mean. To make matters worse, she had already paid for the first course which began just five days after my contract year ended. I was upset. I had no dreams of becoming a school administrator. We argued and I lost (like always) so I went to “The Principalship” course that following Monday morning.

I didn’t sit in the front row. I wasn’t excited. I was as disengaged as you could be when the class began at 9:00 AM but then my life changed. Some guy named Steve Joel was the instructor. By the time we broke for lunch around noon that first day, I wanted to become a school leader in the worst way. I was hooked. It was a done deal. Steve’s passion for educational leadership won me over. He made it seem like the most important career in the universe. His stories and experiences were things I wanted to experience for myself.

I began to read about educational leadership seven days a week. I reached out to Ray Hittle, my principal at Fort Leavenworth, to let him know I was in an administrative program and I’d love to help him with scheduling, supervision, budgeting, whatever I could get my hands on.

As the three year program wore on, Steve Joel and Ray Hittle made sure I had everything I needed. They encouraged me. They challenged me. They kicked me in the butt when I needed it. They shared stories with me. Most importantly, they believed in me and provided me with hope and confidence.

In May of 1998, I became the proud recipient of a Masters’ Degree in Educational Administration. Two months later I was the principal at Bartlett Grade School in Labette County, Kansas where Steve Joel and Ray Hittle continued to mentor me and assist with my transition to educational leadership.

I’ve now started my 16th year in educational leadership. It’s been a wonderful ride full of lots of challenges, great people, and a sense of accomplishment. I can’t help but reflect and be thankful for Steve Joel and Ray Hittle for believing in me and for pushing me into leadership.

Many of you, if not all, have a similar story where someone has believed in you and encouraged you when you needed it. Many of you probably never saw yourselves in your current role/job/profession. Let’s take it upon ourselves to reach out and encourage the next generation. Take one or two folks under your wing and share with them your thoughts, beliefs, fears, and experiences. Find those that are interested in your job/career and help light a fire within them that will benefit many. I know that if I can have 1/10th the impact on a future school leader that Steve and Ray have had on me, I will feel blessed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Inductees into YHS Hall of Fame

On Friday, October 4, at the York Country Club, two new York High graduates were inducted into the YHS Hall of Fame. The distinguished additions to the Hall of Fame were Robin Waller Adams (Class of 1969) and Mike Babcock (Class of 1965). The YHS Hall of Fame was initiated four years ago to recognize YHS graduates who have excelled in their careers and contributed greatly to society and their communities.

After graduating from YHS, Ms. Robin Waller Adams went on to college at UNL. She received her J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) from UNL College of Law. Ms. Waller has worked in international business in Omaha, Pennsylvania, California, and Hong Kong. She has been the Vice-President and CEO of several successful high tech companies.

Mike Babcock, a 1965 graduate of YHS, attended York College on an athletic scholarship. While at York College, Mr. Babcock was the sports editor for the school’s newspaper, "The Spokesman." He received his BA in English from Chico State in California and an MA from UNL. While attending UNL, Mr. Babcock was a sportswriter for the Daily Nebraskan. Mr. Babcock has had an exceptional career in sports writing. He has been a sports reporter and columnist for the Lincoln-Journal Star and a past editor of the sports magazines; "Husker Illustrated" and "Hail Varsity." Mr. Babcock has received numerous writing awards.

Both Ms. Waller and Mr. Babcock were very involved in school activities during their years at YHS. They both look back fondly at their YHS memories and their years of growing up in the York community. Congratulations to Ms. Waller and Mr. Babcock. You are a positive testament of YHS’s continuing legacy in education and an inspiration to current and future YHS students.

Forever a Duke!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

International Travel Opportunities for YHS Students

YHS students interested in international travel will have two opportunities over the next two summers.

In the Summer of 2014, a group of students will travel to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where they will visit three major Mayan archeological sites, Merida—an old colonial city—and Isla Mujeres—an island on the beautiful Caribbean coast. The Mexico trip is designed especially for foreign language students as it includes a homestay with a local family, giving students the opportunity to practice their language skills.

In the Summer of 2015, a trip to the countries of France and Spain is planned. The 2015 trip will be co- sponsored by language teacher Dennis Haack and art teacher Randy Howell. The trip will focus on the art and cultures of these two vibrant Western European nations. Students will visit Paris, Madrid and Barcelona. Students will visit the world-famous Louvre and Prado museums. They will see numerous World Heritage sites and monuments, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tour as well as royal palaces, medieval cities and much more. The students will end their European tour with a day on a beach along the Mediterranean’s rugged and beautiful Costa Brava. They will return with a greater understanding of the world, its history and its artistic treasures.

Students interested in either of the two trips may pick up a brochure on either trip from Mr. Haack, Mr. Howell or the YHS guidance office bulletin board. The brochures provide a tentative schedule, tour costs and other details.