Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What happened at school this year?

As another school year comes to a close and the halls are about to empty for yet another summer break it allow us time  to look back and reflect.  Reflect on what has worked, what has not worked, what still needs to work and what may never work.

As Americans, December 31st marks the end of one year and promises endless possibilities for a new one the next day.  We make resolutions.  We commit to different life choices.  We remove bad habits.  We commit to new, healthier, more productiveness.   We reflect on what is and is not working in our lives and what we want to adjust, monitor, and change. 

For schools that happens in May/June.  As educators watch their students board those buses for the last time and close out the school year they have the exact same thoughts that all of us do on December 31st?  (after they fall on the floor in exhaustion of course)

The reflect on their teaching, their classroom management, their curriculum, their leadership, their choices, their lesson plans, their assessments, their activities, their learning, their classrooms.  They ponder, they adjust, the modify, they learn and they commit to doing "better" the next year.  Some are critical of themselves and want something different for next year, yet are not sure how.

Sometimes their opportunity to "get better" is directly affected by their ability to access the appropriate professional development to get better.  There is limited access and funding to allow teachers to learn appropriate and necessary professional development in order to increase the learning happening in their classroom.

I address this very topic in Chapter 10 of my book, "The Education System is Broken:  Strategies to Rebuilding Hope, Lives and Futures."  Professional development to an educator is as vital, and perhaps more vital,  to educators as learning in the classroom is to students. 

If teachers are not continually developed and provided more tools to teacher our students how can we expect them to get better at their craft?  I would say that professional development that enhances students learning IS what is necessary for our teachers.

We, at Tools for Success, are committed to the professional development of our teachers.  If you are an educator or know of one who is committed to learning, growing and having the best tools for their classroom, contact for more information.

As a PROUD educator of over thirty years I am committed to creating the classrooms and schools that return in July/August renewed, refreshed and armed with new tools that WILL increase students achievement.

Are you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Time for the BOOK SIGNING

Now is the time and YOU are needed and wanted.  It is time to have a book signing.  My new book, "The Education System is Broken:  Strategies to Rebuilding Hope, Lives and Futures"  is my and many of my colleagues journey for over thirty years.  It is a real look at what is happening in our schools.  It is a a tough, but necessary, look at pulling back the curtains about what is really going on and more importantly how YOU can and must be a part of the solution.

We will be joined that evening by some amazing speakers (including me).

Amber Fields-is the founder or Indy's Stiletto Network and a consultant for Verizon Wireless.  Amber is a powerful speaker that knows Networking.  She knows how to connect people and empower women.  She will be speaking to your best yes and how we can all learn from it.

Kelly McWilliams-Educator/Administrator is an educator who too has lived through so many of the same things discussed in my book.   She is an innovative, intuitive, inspiring educator who does not question nor debate making the unpopular decisions FOR our students.  Those decision have caused some dissention for her and she will share that experience first hand.

Terry Dove/Shamara Cox-Founders of The Merit Group are consultants that have assisted me in building Tools for Success.  Their brand marketing strategies are innovative and personalized to every person who has a new business or is interested in building a new one.  Their insights will provide inspiration for any business owner.

There will be books availble for purchase and I will be honored to sign books that have been previously purchased.

Punch and desserts will be available.

Please join us for this energetic intentional evening guaranteed to inspire and to motivate you to commit to and understand YOUR part in changing our education conversation at a time.

A clear and unintended journey

Each of us start a path in our lives professionally.  Many of us begin at a point when we enter Kindergarten.  Many of us have a vision of what our lives will look like after we graduate twelve years later.   Some of us envision post secondary schooling, some the military,  some ministry, and yet others head right into the workforce.   Regardless of our paths many of us began developing and formulating and planning that path early on in our educational journeys.

I too had a path.  I knew, from as young as I knew what a profession was, that I wanted to be a teacher.  I knew I wanted to inspire, to educate, to motivate and to be with students,  I knew that being in front of a classroom was home and I traveled through my education with that goal in mind.  As I began my own post secondary journey I knew that was a good fit.  I knew that I would some day get my administration degree and lead my own building and I did.  All of that came true.  Twenty years in the classroom and ten years in administration.

What I did not plan or even consider was my next step.  I thought that I would retire from education at whatever age I had decided and move on into retirement.  But, I learned that my journey was to be different.  In my time in the classroom I was not ignorant to the politicalness in education.  I was rather protected as a great teacher but I was not ignorant.  I watched as some decisions were made that were questionable to me but yet, I believed in blind faith and moved on.

Then I became and administrator.  I watched and personally lived through some political decisions that were made "in the name of kids" that were far from that.  I  watched as my colleagues, great administrators were discarded based in the whim of a disgruntled stakeholder of the school.  I watched amazing teachers discarded and outcast and flat beat down at the liberty of a political figure in the community or on the board.  I became lost and confused and committed to find answers.  I knew that this could not be the norm, there had to be more.  After all, I told myself, at the very essence of what we do are STUDENTS and surely we can all agree even if that means disagreeing to agree.  After my own "non renewal" of my contract I knew that my beliefs were being tested and that this was a path that I had not planned.

I left my amazing field KNOWING we must do more.  I left knowing that what I know and what I personally experienced empowers me.  I became committed to exposing and offering solutions as to how we can fix our school system for our students and for our educators.  I now know that my journey was exactly what it was supposed to be.  I was MEANT to be with students.  I was meant to lead teachers and I am MEANT to fix our broken school system.

This next chapter as a business owner, consultant, and author  are for a purpose.  They were all a part of my clear yet unintended journey.  I had to experience each and every step of my journey.  I had to be where I am.  I had to experience the great and the not so great, the working and the not working in school, the fair and the unfair, the benefits and the losses.  I had to go through each and every step to bring me to where I am now.

I KNOW that this book will change lives.  I know that this book will make a difference for every educator and every student in our schools.  I know that this book will create some amazing dialogues that will benefit all of us.  Difficult conversations can and  often are tough but we MUST have those dialogues if we ever are to grow and learn.  We cannot move forward if we do not acknowledge where we are right matter what that looks like.  It is in looking at where we are that allows us clarity in how to get to where we what to be.

Who is ready to join me on this unintended journey?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Looking for Opportunities

Have you ever found yourself wishing, hoping, and wanting more opportunities in your life?  Have you every wished you had more money, more free time, less stress, better relationships, more travel, less travel, less worry or just something else?
Here is a great revelation for you.....YOU CAN!!!

I believe that each and every moment of our lives is an opportunity to create those wishes, hopes and wants.  I think for far too many wishing, hoping and wanting have replaced doing, making and getting.  Too many spend too much time "dreaming" about what their new life will be yet never take the steps to create it.

I have often been asked, "How did you get so lucky in your life?"  After all, you have a great marriage, beautiful children, a new book coming out and a growing business.  "How did you get so lucky?"

My response is always the same grace and HARD WORK.  Life is not free.  Blessings are not free. Success is not free.  Dreams coming true is not free.  We have to work for what we want.  We have to set our course, take the steps to make it happen and get it done.  No one has a better life, a bigger car, more things, a better relationship or a happier life because "they were lucky."  They have those things because of their own grace and because they worked for it each and every day.

So, here is my question for you....what are you working toward today?  What action steps are you taking?  How are you making your dreams come true?

Here is what I know for sure.  This time tomorrow is going to come.  This time next week and this time next year will happen.  The question becomes, how will your life be richer, better, more fulfilled, and happier?  What steps will you take today that will result in a bigger and better tomorrow?

Feel free to visit my web site at for more information.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Compassion has become a lost art

Each and every day I look at Facebook,  Twitter and other social platforms.   I read some of the comments.  I look at the discourse and anger that is being given.  I see the comments that are often left on a post that, to me, did not seem to warrant such an attack or anger and I ponder.

I ask my self the same question......where has our compassion gone.  Where has our kindness gone?  What happen to understanding?  And most often I ask myself, would you say to a person's face what you just put in that post?

I am afraid that tweeting, liking, posting, and following have allowed us to become "arm chair quarterbacks" rather than humans.  Things are said behind the veil of the text.  Anger is given (or felt) behind the few characters of a tweet and we are all left hurting and asking why?

So, here is my challenge.  I for one am committing to pick up the phone.  When someone has a great post celebrating a wonderful happening in their life rather than hitting a like button I am going to pick up the phone and let them hear my compassion and joy.

When I read a post that is sharing some pain, I am going to pick up the phone and offer a shoulder or an ear...whatever is needed.  I am going to commit connecting, to listening, to BEING there for my friends.

Who is with me?  Can you image a world where we just TALKED to each other, listened to each other, and shared with each other.

Let's create it.  Compassion will only be a lost art if we allow it to be lost.  And for me.....I am going to find it every day.  Won't you come join me?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A call to action regarding our educational system

It is time to CHANGE education.

We live in a society where everyone TALKS about change.  We all have "opinions" and we are all the best "arm chair quarterbacks" that ever have been.  What often does not happen is to take a leap and stand out there when we do not know what the feedback will be or what the change will look like.  But sometimes in life you cannot wonder what would have been or what could have been and you have to be the change agent that says, I WILL START THE CONVERSATION.

That "conversation" is the reason that I wrote this book, "The Educational System is Broken, Strategies to Rebuilding Hope, Lives and Futures."  It is a conversation that MUST be had.  (

Very few people either in or out of education would argue that there are some major problems in our educational system here in America.  Graduation rates are dropping, students are not graduating prepared for the next step of life, students are being left behind/discarded,  and even worse schools are scrambling to fix the problem.

Then we have the issues for the educators.  Educators are fleeing the profession faster than we can graduate them to enter.  Testing has become out of control, ridiculous and a political game (at EVERYONE'S expense)  Discipline, or the lack there of it has gotten flat out dangerous for ALL involved  (watch the newest media story for the most recent attack)  Frustration at ALL levels are at an all time high and for what?

For our students?  For the children?  For our educators?  Who, who is benefiting right now?

We must begin to function our school differently!!!  We must value education again and respect those who are giving it their all every day!!  And, we MUST demand more TOGETHER of our schools and each other.

Who is ready to begin the conversations with me?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog.  I am so thrilled to open this forum to discuss, share, participate and inspire.

I am a proud educator.  I have spent the past thirty years in the halls of one public high school or another.  I spent twenty years teaching high school Spanish and the past ten years in administration as an assistant principal then a high school principal.

Throughout my time in education I loved so many things about it and found other things very tough to watch.  I have seen outstanding educator and I have unfortunately seen others that were not in the right fit.  I have witnessed the good, the great, the bad and the ugly of public education.  I have since gone on to write my own book and am working with a publisher to get it published.  More on that later.

I started my own company in November, Tools for Success.  I am now doing motivational speaking, educational workshops, keynote addresses and a myriad of other speaking opportunities.  I am thrilled to take my background in education and now use that passion on a larger platform.

I love to discuss and share and look forward to this blog becoming an opportunity to share and learn form each other in a positive and enlightening way.  I do not and will not promote negativity as there are better more positive ways to get your point across other than that.

I wanted to thank you for joining me on this adventure and please comment, post and share some of the topics you would like to see addressed here.

Have a wonderful day and I look forward to sharing more with you soon.