on learning and leading

one last word … for now

Many of you have been a part of my LMS journey who may not have seen this today. This letter is for you too – for all of the amazing folks who have been a part of this chapter. 

Dearest LMS Family,

On November 1, 2004, I walked onto the Lexington Middle School campus (well, at least the outskirts of it – to my parking-lot portable) as a naive, overwhelmed and passionate young teacher who had less than one clue how to engage middle schoolers in any sort of meaningful learning. Because of you, I’m leaving this campus 13 years later with a much deeper understanding of what it means to teach and lead — of what it means to serve all of those who are a part of our learning community.

I haven’t been very good at saying goodbye these last few weeks; I think I’m afraid of letting that emotion in because I’m not sure that I’m be able to subdue it once it comes. But there are a few things I must say to you before I leave this campus today:

Thank you for embracing a wide-eyed Latin teacher with a couple of Harry Potter books and a vision for a program that had shaped her. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and you answered the thousands of questions that came up again and agains as I muddled to find my way through.

Thank you for challenging the status quo. When it might have seemed easier to stay tight to the course and keep on in the same direction – this faculty has consistently refined practices for the betterment of the students walking our halls each day. You are world changers, and you’ve taught me to push hard and dream big while remembering the people affected most directly by deep-rooted changes. I won’t easily forget that.

Thank you for believing in me when I wasn’t so sure I could keep moving forward. In the hardest year of my career so far, you stood in the gap for me and allowed me to represent you to our district. There’s a serious chance I would have thrown in the towel without you, but you gave me the strength to remember my purpose.

Thank you for loving me through some of the most exciting — and challenging — years of my life. I came to LMS a single 22 year old. Much has changed since then. You walked the journey alongside of me — the peaks and the valleys. Not everyone can say that about their coworkers, and I count myself blessed that I can do that.

There’s something special about LMS. I’ve known that for a long time, but I’ve felt it so acutely the past few weeks. I’m so glad that I’ll still get to come breathe that in from time to time (although maybe not right after 7th grade lunch.) You have meant more to me than I could ever articulate, and I want you to know that I love each of you very, very much.

So maybe I’ve put it off because “goodbye” isn’t the right word. We’ll go with “see you later,” because I plan to do a great deal of that.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” ~ 2 Corinthians 13:11

Vos amo, omnes,



I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you.

I do believe I have been changed for the better.
And because I knew you,
I have been changed for good.

~ “For Good” from Wicked



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