Sunday, August 21, 2011

An Incredible First Day

Douglas Unified School District welcomed all of our staff back on August 3.  All faculty and staff came together at the newly named James A. Brenden Auditorium.  We started a new tradition by having a slide show of all 25 year employees.  Because this was a first, we had to catch up and honor all of those 25 years and more.  We will be honoring all of these long time, loyal employees at a Board Meeting in the near future.

Last year when everyone was back, I had only been on the job for  a very short time.  What a difference a  year makes!!!  

This year I gave a short speech because we had a wonderful speaker following my address.  Last December, I attended the Arizona School Board Association conference on servant leadership.   We had two excellent speakers.  I have written about one in an earlier entry, the author of the Paradoxical Commandments.  He was excellent!

However, the second day's speaker was probably the most incredible motivational speaker that I have ever heard, and I have heard many over the years.  Her name is Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch.  In all of the years that I have ever attended conferences and have heard great speakers, I have never been so moved by someone that I actually stayed to try to talk to her.  And I was able to talk to her and she was amazing!!

Consuelo grew up on the border in Texas.  So much of what she said had true meaning for me even though I am not Hispanic.  What she said truly touched my heart.  When I talked to her, I told her I was from Douglas.  I told her that I would love to have her come to Douglas and talk to our staff.  She promised me that she would.

When I got back to Douglas, I contacted her company.  Consuelo is one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S.  She is a retired officer in the U.S. Army and was on track to becoming a general.  She promised her mother that she would give back to the Hispanic community and so she retired from the Army to start her company.  Needless to say, she is able to command "big bucks" for her services.  DUSD doesn't have big bucks so I didn't pursue her coming after I found out the cost.  In about March, her assistant called me and asked if we still wanted her to come to Douglas.  I told her of course but that we couldn't afford her.  Well, Consuelo was true to her word about wanting to come to Douglas.  We negotiated  the price and I can tell you that she truly gave us a deal!!

I was so excited about this that I immediately sent a message to our Governing Board.  One of our Board Members is the County Manager.  He made arrangements for Consuelo to talk to his supervisors and the City of Douglas and the Chamber of Commerce asked her to speak to parents and members of the community.  

She was AMAZING!!  We had an excellent turn out for the community night.  The next morning, Consuelo spoke to our staff.  It was UNBELIEVABLE.  Her message is so powerful.  What touched me the most was that she dedicated her talk to me!!!

I feel honored and privileged that this incredible woman came to Douglas with her message of hope.  She said that public education is the purest form of democracy.  She also said we have to save our children because they are the future.  

I had so many staff members tell me how much her talk meant to them.  They could truly relate to her and where she came from.  I am hoping she will come back to talk to our high school kiddos. 

Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch is my hero!!  I cannot begin to express my gratitude that she chose to come to Douglas!!  WOW!!!

I am putting a video of her on this post.  Please take a few minutes to listen to what she has to say.  Her message is one of hope and inspiration. (You can turn off the music on the playlist by hitting =)

1 remarks:

NP said...

WOW!!!!! I can see why you were so touched by Consuelo dedicating her talk to YOU!!! You already probably know that her little video brought tears to my eyes. She is the person that you want the WHOLE WORLD to listen to. I wish I could have been there. Way to go Sheila on getting her to come to Douglas and what a special person she is to want to be there. I'm so happy that all worked out!!!
Love & hugs,