Monday, August 18, 2008

The Principal's First Day of School

I don't usually blog between the posts I do each week for my faculty - time is somewhat of a problem. But... I could not allow my head to hit the pillow tonight without telling the world about the most incredible group of people on the planet. I have long known how supremely lucky I am - I am blessed, quite honestly, to work with the best students, parents, teachers and support personnel on the planet. Today was spectacular - the kids were awesome, the teachers and assistants were outstanding and the classrooms were positively amazing. A musician was playing Carribean music for families as they entered and we enjoyed an incredible guest who told stories and showed photos of his trips to over 22 countries - we were all mesmerized!

The day for this principal was perfect - even despite the one hiccup at bus dismissal! It was my sixth first day as a principal - a feat I could only ever accomplish because of the help that seems to come out of the woodwork whenever there is need. I simply call and the support team is there and they need to be thanked by name. They herded cats (my own little analogy of what the first day with Kindergartners is like :), helped open lunches, soothed tearful faces, spoke toher languages, cleaned and moved the dining room furniture for our assemblies, loaded cars, loaded buses... they were everywhere and anywhere there was a need and I am beyond grateful. Thank you could never be enough to Melanie Holtsman, Suzanne Shall, dayle timmons, Liz Duncan, Moe Dygan, Betsy McCall, Jennifer Snead, KK Cherney, JB Boyd, Estrella Bailey, Deb Stevens, Michelle Leclair, Lori Linkous, Julie Middleton, DeAnna Morgan, Stanley Brooks, Tracy Carlin, Christine Valnoha, Karen Willett, Ralph and Pat Thomas. Every time I turned around you were there today - for me - asking what you could do. You were heroic.

For any principal out there who thinks this job is all about power - you are dead wrong. Real success comes when you empower others. I know without a doubt that I am only as good as the people I am surrounded with. Never, ever has their been a better example of that for me than today. I could not have done my job today without you. Thank you for creating the perfect first day experience for our family.

Risk... Care...Dream...Expect...


Meli Launey said...

As a first year Chets teacher, I came into today a bit anxious. I have never experienced a first day with so much excitement. I was convinced I would do something terribly wrong (show up at the wrong lunch time, miss the assembly, send a child out the door heading the wrong direction at dismissal, confuse the E01 with and E02, etc...). But I should have had no fear. Every time I turned around someone was there. KK came in on Sunday to make sure my morning news would be ready. Rick emailed me to let me know that I got an extra student. Dayle left me a note of encouragement which started my morning off right. Dorry had me all organized and ready to go. Angela had labels printed for all the supplies. Julie and the PTA parents had my Large T-shirts switched out for my tiny girls. Suzanne stopped by to pick up my roll, and remind me that the assembly Shae answered all my questions each time I popped my head in the door...and had lunch prepared for the whole team. Egg salad and peanut butter cup cookies- my kind of lunch! I’m ready for another day. I made it, thanks to all of you. (I hope I haven't forgotten anyone....)

Deb Stevens said...

I couldn't imagine a better team to work with... and principal to be in the trenches with.

Mrs. Nash said...


Thanks for everything! You and your incredible "core team" did make it all happen smoothly for us. I mean, how could it have happened without the support of all? I ask you, what other school IN THE WORLD has cart girls delivering refreshments to you room in those stressful, final hours before the big day??? You guys are truly "tipping the lamp"! :)

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Phillips,
Thank you for your leadership. I'm looking forward to another awesome year at CCE!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to get back to school. I miss the kids and my grown-up friends too. The Tropical Storm has us all a little stir-crazy!

-Karen Morris

Suzanne said...

I think we all feel the way you do...We are all extremely grateful for being surrounded by the extraordinary professionals that make up the Chets Creek family. There is not an individual in the building that has to do their job alone, ever, because we so believe in the concept of TEAM.

Kudos to you for leading this team and always empowering the individuals in this building. I don't think day one could have gone any smoother.


Anonymous said...

I too had a great time on openening day :-} What could be better than a cyclist that travelled the world, and survived to tell his tales. That's right up my road!

As for the CCE team mentioned, they so ROCK! I know that most successful coaches set out to first surround themselves with awesome talent. However, I often wonder if the talents these supporters posses are enhanced by their surroundings to a great degree. That dynamic creates such a "perfect storm" of synergy that it moves the whole place to greater accomplishments.

As for perfect storms, Fay punched my lights, cable, internet...out until yesterday at 6:00 P.M., as a huge tree impaled my house. It is fitting that my classroom got wet too! Whatever doesn't kill us....



Debbie Harbour said...

This will be my 10th year at Chets Creek and every year I am excited to be working with this fabulous group of teachers and other professionals. I am continued to be awed by work this faculty does and their commitment to children. Thank you for our past ~ I look forward to our future.

Anonymous said...

I also had a fabulous first day. Through all the craziness of setting up, putting furniture together and not slepping. It was one of the smoothest first days, I have experienced. Maybe I should always limit myself to one week set up!
No, I don't think so!
Thanks for all you did to support us out in the cottages. We could not have done it with out all the help!
You are the best!

Anonymous said...

This is my first, first day at Chets and I am so excited the year is upon us. I am grateful to be a part of this family. Everyone that works here truly goes above and beyond. :) KS