Thursday, December 31, 2015


The year has come to a close. Much accomplished, yet some tasks did not come to complete fruition. Being accepting of what was done, and what was not, is significant to our growth. It is important to celebrate the end of one year and think ahead and be ready for the one to come.

In looking back, ideas were plenty in 2015. I was challenged by colleagues in a way that motivated me to be better. I was inspired by students to dive deeper into the relationships that drive the teaching and learning. And, I was surrounded by professionals that continued to raise the bar both personally and professionally in all that I do for those that I serve in education.

For every up, there is often a down. There were failures. I did not always do as I said I would. There was disappointment. Ideas were left to flutter in the wind. Conversations did not turn into action. When I should have listened, I spoke. Pressing pause to reflect should have been required not simply encouraged. Failure occurred. Defeat was felt.

However now it is time to look ahead. A New Year brings a new set of opportunities and new growth in all that I do. 2016 is here for the taking. With all that I have learned about life and about myself, I know there is OneWord that will drive me this coming year. That word is:

 -  FINISH  -

In thinking to what I have accomplished, and what I have not, it excites me to think about what lies ahead. Already in the works for this coming year:

  • My staff will dive into intentional work as it relates to culture not only in our building but in the classroom and in the hearts and minds of all stakeholders in our community. 
  • As a middle level building who serves the most impressionable of minds, we will look into our own beliefs and lay out our expectations of ourselves and each other as we serve the students in the middle. 
  • With best practices we will continue look at how we measure a students growth and assess their knowledge and strive to prepare kids for tomorrow and focus on the now. 
  • And finally, I am excited to work along side colleagues globally to offer rich, authentic learning in a forum that supports our passions to being the servant leaders we each are. 

With that in mind, the only way this becomes a success, however, is if I FINISH what I start. We would all agree that ideas are plenty in each of us. Actions are spoken with confidence. The beliefs we have are indicative of the communities we serve. We can talk the talk. We are each well versed in the power of conversation. The desire is there.

The reality for me is that I must FINISH. Come in early, stay late, push boundaries, support the uncomfortable, encourage the quiet, process the negative, lean on others, learn from all, listen to and do not ignore the obvious. Feel the pulse. Know my surroundings, support others in the process and remember that it is the teaching and learning that we do that is at the core of what motivates me to not only show up each day but most significantly, act each day.

2016 is here. I am ready to FINISH what I start. I will embrace today, I am ready for what lies ahead.


  1. Craig, as always your writing has inspired me! I'm looking forward to presenting with you at NASSP in January and expanding our work with the Compelled Tribe. Thank you for being a part of my 2015!

  2. All of the starts in education have little to no impact if no one finishes- Cross the line! Thanks for your inspiring post and continued leadership!

  3. What a strong word for 2016! Your writing inspires me to find the joy in completion! Looking forward to sharing the journey of personal and professional growth in 2016!

  4. Great word! Love the passionate post. So many wonderful learning opportunities. Looking forward to future updates.

  5. Truly inspired by your post. It resonates dedication, commitment, inspiration and compassion, and provides the fuel that propels us to reflect upon our actions. Have a grand 2016!

  6. Craig,
    Thanks for speaking your truth and telling your story. It is easy to have ideas, but the follow through can be challenging. Your word is a call to action. I look forward to follow all you will accomplish in 2016. (Sorry, had to wait to read your post until I had confirmed my one little word.)


  7. YOU are one of the leaders I've tried to keep pace with. So, to "hear" you admit the need to finish makes me feel ok. I can relate to much of what is in this post. Thank you for always being a source of inspiration to me.

  8. Craig, and finish you will with strength of purpose and character, as a model, a leader, and a connected educator. I am encouraged by your thoughts and actions to finish strong. Join us at #NYEDChat on 1.4 to tell your story of your #OLW.

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