Showing posts from January, 2017

Believe...Learn...Grow - Sonya Paul

Believe…Learn…Grow Guest Blogger: Mrs. Sonya Paul “Wherever you find excellence, you find continuous learning. They go hand in hand. Wherever you find that continuous learning is missing, you find mediocrity.” –Matthew Kelly
Life is always about teaching us lessons.  They do not come in a book or neatly tied-up in a fill-in-the blank order. No, life comes about teaching lessons in a most natural way and sometimes it’s not pretty, in fact at times life is a train wreck.
A friend of mine, her father dies at sixteen and she had to find a way to pay for college, another acquaintance, her child has to have round the clock, 24 hour care, another young woman will live out her entire life in a wheelchair, and yet each have amazing perspectives on life. It is good to be able to believe…to learn…and to grow.  If there is one lesson to model to young children today it is this phrase: “Believe in yourself, learn all that you can, and grow in understanding of the world and the people around you.”
My …


FOGBANK is a codename for a substance first manufactured in 1975 that is described as looking and feeling like either styrofoam or aerogel. The original recipe was lost, and it took $92 million to reinvent.
What it actually is and does is classified at the highest levels. Its only use is in thermonuclear fusion warheads (hydrogen bombs). It is an essential material and its purpose in the process of detonating a bomb is a secret. There are many guesses as to what exactly it does, but the only people who really know have high security clearances or are dead.  Neither group can tell anyone who wasn’t already in the program.
When the US Navy began a Trident missile upgrade, they needed to refurbish their inventory of certain nuclear warheads. This meant taking them apart, modernize and replace parts, and then put them back together. But in the process they needed to replace the component called FOGBANK. And nobody knew how to do it. The job of figuring it out was given to the Nationa…

Indiana's 2015-2016 Performance Pay Inequities

In mid-December the state of Indiana sent out their performance pay funds to both traditional public schools and charter schools. The total amount of the performance pay grants was about $40,000,000. This performance grant money is authorized by IC 20-43-10-3 which has component formulas related to test passing and graduation rates.
The differences in the amount of the awards is significant – ranging from the highest (Carmel Schools, $2,422 per teacher) to many schools receiving no money at all. This money comes from the state treasury. We all pay into it.
Here are the schools with the highest per-teacher pay:
Carmel Schools (16,000 students) already appropriated over $60 million from their general fund for teacher pay. Carmel Clay has both “A” and “B” schools.
The school corporation with the next highest amount per teacher is Zionsville Schools. Zionsville (2,000 students) already plans on spending several million dollars from their general fund on teacher salaries. Zionsville has both …


Homecoming is the best time of year for schools to promote and celebrate their “brand.” Not the logos or labels or the superficial - rather the genuine reputation and core identity of who we are and what we do.
Budweiser Beer failed to protect its brand through a couple of generational changes - and it is reasonable to ask why Budweiser would need to. Budweiser has consistently been the highest-selling beer in the American market, and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev), sells more beer in the United States than any other company. But shares of overall sales fell in the past few years, with growing drops in retail sales in 2015. A-B InBev hired a company called Wieden + Kennedy (It’s at and kind of interesting to check out) to be the “lead creative agency” in advertising and promotion in order to grow American Sales.
Beer is almost 50% of the US alcoholic beverage sales but is losing market share because it is facing more and more aggressive …


Evaluations are getting wrapped up and I have been getting some very exciting feedback - lots of evidence that we have some great instruction going on. Thank you to all of you. We're seeing great things going on, in all areas.
I spent several years in a role that included  managing new teacher recruiting and professional development for new and veteran teachers. My job was defined by a whole bunch of words which began with the letter “R’” – Recruit, Retain, Retrain, Reassign, and Release (Release had its own R’s – covering the whole spectrum from Retire to Resign to “Remove”) but also many positive opportunities, too -  Recognize and Reinforce and Reward.
But it’s not just a gimmick that many human resources are all “R” words, there are also other words -  challenge and develop and encourage and motivate - which apply both to emergent master teachers and emergent educational leaders. In any role where you are developing people you may be presented with an array of availabl…