It's been the first time in a long time where I start pressing the keys. I blogged for a long time and took a hiatus. Were my words and thoughts so important that I needed to share them with the masses? Hell no. My words and thoughts are just that...words and thoughts. However, when issues arise, I have a platform to turn to.
The past 2 years have been a whirlwind for me. I've had the chance to crisscross the country, working with all walks of educational life in rural, suburban, and urban districts. I've worked with districts that have had money to roll in and districts that are getting by paycheck to paycheck. While I love doing what I do, being away from my family is painful. My girls are 3 1/2... FaceTime is wonderful, but it only does so much. You can't kiss your kids goodnight, eat dinner with them, or snuggle up and read a story. Hence, I've been looking to get to work again in a close proximity.
Last month, I applied for a Superintendency that was close to home. I interviewed and was offered the position. Out of 50 applicants and 10 colleagues who were interviewed, I was fortunate enough to be selected. While being the first pick is always an honor, it's just as much of an interview for me as it is for the Board. No words can describe a Board when you find the right one. It was a great fit.
As contract negotiations began, the word got out that I was the guy. While it normally does, and small towns spread rumors super fast, this was nothing like I've ever seen. In less than 48 hours, I was getting social media follows, emails, and phone calls from most of the community. Given my lightening-rod style, those who stalk my every keystroke and those who follow me online put 1 & 1 together, and the onslaught began. Everyone knew it was just a question of when, and this Board was totally ready for it. I loved that; a supportive Board who backs their pick in unison. If you don't have that from day 1, you have nothing.
The following week, it was clear that I would not be able to start on the date that the Board wanted. After reviewing and re-working my calendar to accommodate previous commitments and engagements, I would still be out 14 school days in October. This, along with the annual NJ School Boards Convention, would put me at 18 calendar days of the district. I could not move forward with a clear conscience knowing that I would be there for a modicum of time in the first month when the first month is one of THE most important months and knowing my absences would create a myriad of problems. If I was a taxpayer, I would be livid. Sadly, I declined the offer. I am not the first, nor will I be the last Superintendent who had talks break down and conclude that this may not indeed be a good fit at this time....