As Thanksgiving week approaches, I would like to say how "thankful" I am to have connected and reconnected with so many families and former students who I have had the pleasure of working with as a teacher and a principal. I am also thankful to the many colleagues I have worked with through the years in both GPS and DUSD. And it has been wonderful to meet the new community members, teachers, parents and students throughout the last several months this campaign. I am also thankful to the over 36,000 voters who put their trust in me to serve on the GPS Board for the next four years. I can promise that I will always do my best to serve the children of our community. Teachers, administrators and staff are key to this so they will also be a priority. And of course the parents are absolutely key to the success of their children and our district.
One of the most influential people I have ever met and who has become a dear friend, Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, does a lot of work in school districts with parental involvement and leadership. I have learned much from her and I admire everything she stands for. She says that it is so important to be an active listener. "Everyone has had a journey so part of leadership-if you truly want to lead, is learning to truly listen. Talk less, observe more, feel more, listen."
"Being an active listener isn't as simple as it sounds. It is a communication technique that requires the listener to not only comprehend what is being said, but evaluate what they hear. The ability to listen actively can improve interpersonal skills and strengthen cooperation that can advance mutual understanding. So when practicing this technique completely open your mind along with your ears."
I will do my best to follow Consuelo's words!