Monday, November 24, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Thanksgiving until New Year's is absolutely my favorite time of the year. Spending time with family is always something I cherish. I also love the excitement and anticipation in the air during this time. I hope that the 2014 holiday season is extremely special for you and all of your loved ones. I won't make it down to Florida to see my family but they'll certainly be in my thoughts.

Have a great Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 17, 2014

"The Main Thing"

One of my favorite leadership quotes is from legendary basketball coach, Pat Riley. He says "the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." In other words, you have to identify what your priorities are and avoid all of the clutter that gets in the way.

At YPS, our "main thing" is our students and doing all we can to provide them with opportunities to be successful. From pre-school through graduation, and even beyond in some instances, we want to ensure that our kids get the experiences and exposure they need to be productive, happy, and resilient citizens.

We're currently working on some irrigation tech training and certification issues with SCC and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. We've got our Agronomy Academy up and running at Monsanto. We have eight career academies for our juniors and seniors. We have college visits for middle school and high school students. We've extended the school day and school year for our elementary and middle school students.

I love the focus that the YPS staff and school board have on our "main thing." We're going to keep getting better and better and better.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Students have a HUGE Impact on us Professional Educators

Being a lifelong educator is a GREAT job. Sure, there are horrible days, tough circumstances, constant criticism, etc. However, when all is said and done; it is a wonderful profession. In my opinion, the best part about the education profession is STUDENTS. Yes, we help teach our students some lessons but I'm here to tell you I learn a ton from our students as well.

As a former 3rd grade teacher from 1994-1998, I can still remember certain lessons, specific things that happened, etc. I often wonder how my former students are doing. I was in Broken Bow on Tuesday night and ran into the mama of one of my former students in West Point, Nebraska where I served as K-6 principal from 2000-2003. I had not seen this family since May of 2003 and over 11 years later, I could remember exactly who she was, her son Morgan, and her husband Bob. She told me Morgan has graduated from UNL and will be married next fall. Wow. He was JUST in 5th grade "yesterday."

I often think about Bobby from Bartlett Grade School, Russell from Franklin, Cyle from Fort Leavenworth, Morgan and Yanette from West Point, and many, many others.

Myself, like many educational colleagues, have been lucky to be around lots of awesome students throughout our careers. I highly encourage any young person that is contemplating what kind of career they want to have to seriously consider education. It's made a big difference in my life!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Tribute to Mamas

Today, November 6th, is my mama's 63rd birthday so I've decided to dedicate my blog today to her and all the mamas out there. Mothers are simply the most important people in the world. I can't think of a close second place for this category! Mothers are unselfish, kind, generous, and loyal. Mothers are the glue of their family. Mothers get taken for granted. Mothers never get the credit they deserve.

My mama is very special. She has certainly dealt with way more than her share of adversity. She never quits. Her love for her family never falters. She puts her family above everything else...all the time. Every day. My mama has shown me the power of love, the power of never giving up, and the power of hard work.

I thank my mother, Karen Dugger Johnson, for all she has done and continues to do, for my family.

I thank ALL of the mamas out there for what you mean to your loved ones. Though they may not always show it like they should, you are appreciated.

We love you mothers. Thank you for all that you do.