Thursday, August 28, 2014

Do you have your clean slate?

It was my pleasure to open the 2014-2015 school year on August 18th.  We celebrated many things including 10 new staff members, 9 internal shifts, positive preliminary district data, and revamped district initiatives.  

My welcome back message centered around the theme - clean slate.  This is not the traditional clean slate - erase the old and start fresh.   Its the type of clean slate that lets us ride the tide of change and reinvent ourselves, building upon the things that work while starting fresh in areas that need refinement.  This reinvention allows the border or frame of the slate to embody our great skills, work, and talents, while the center of the slate is our new opportunity for growth and professional risk.  This is what we do as educators, continually reflect on how to make the good even better.  Working tirelessly to leave our mark on the hearts and minds of our students, families, and community.  

I'm energized with the opportunity a clean slate presents.   I control what is written on my slate as the Superintendent of Mechanicsburg Schools.  My actions, my communication, my leadership, and my commitment to students will dictate the  words and images that will symbolize who I am as an educator in Mechanicsburg.  When I reflect back on this year, I want those words to characterize Mechanicsburg’s #1 priority - Achievement of all students as well as the district’s other goals.  

Jim Mahoney, Executive Director of Battelle for Kids, recently wrote about “August and September as the season of hope”.  You can find his blog here.  This blog reinforces our notion of the clean slate, rewinding the clock to continue what works, all the while adding in the new things that will move the hands of time.  

As educators and leaders, we should challenge ourselves and our staff to find our voice, craft our message, and continue to impact students positively each and every day.  We should also model for others the true spirit of a clean slate.  The events of previous school years, the disagreements, the miscommunications are in the past!  If we commit to a clean slate, we have to commit to leaving those things behind in the chalk dust.  If we carry them forward, we only limit the fresh space we have to reinvent ourselves and craft our new message.  
Take the challenge.  Don’t limit your potential!  Rewind only to pull forward what will have a positive impact on what you do!


Danielle Prohaska
Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools

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