It is interesting. I have been meaning to start this blog since Friday, January 24, 2014, yet here we are, almost 5 months to the date, and I am just beginning. I told myself it would be important to chronicle the events since this experience, yet I never made the time to get started. Well...today is THE DAY! I have to thank some new individuals who have come into my life for motivating me to get started with blogging. Todd, Nicole, and Cassie- I appreciate the fire being lit! I can't promise that I will be as creative, eloquent, or inspiring as the three of you have been, but I will be able to use this blog as a reflective and growing tool.
January 24 was the day that will forever be etched in my memory. This was the day that I found out that I was named the Principal of Richard J. Lee Elementary School. Let me backtrack and tell you: it was a whirlwind of a week. Andra had already been out an entire week with a very sick grandson. I was informed on Friday, January 17, that I would interview on Tuesday of the next week. I needed to prepare a presentation to share how my leadership aligned with the visioning of the campus and the district. Overjoyed that I even had an interview for this amazing opportunity, I worked all weekend (and Martin Luther King Day) creating a personal branding site to share a little bit about myself with the interview committee. Having been part of some of the visioning work and on the Design Charette, I tried to communicate the innovative and visionary experiences I had been a part of. The room was filled with Administrators, Directors, Principals, Assistant Superintendents, and I was an absolute nervous wreck. In my heart, I WANTED the job, but in my head, I wondered if I was what they were looking for? Did I have in in me to do what was dreamed about for this school? Would they really put a BRAND NEW PRINCIPAL in a BRAND NEW SCHOOL??? THIS SCHOOL? Hallelujah! The questions were printed in front of me and there was a bottle of water. I tried to take a few gulps to wash down the lump in my throat. After answering their questions, I went into another room to complete a task from a sealed envelope. I was given 30 minutes to construct a timeline of what I would do in the months before opening the school. Do you want to know the honest truth of what I put down first? I typed, "Have a heart attack!" Then I furiously wrote down everything my mind could think of that would be necessary. On Thursday morning, I was invited to visit with Dr. Turner. I knew what this meant...I made it to the final two. When I sat down, the first thing he said to me was, "What are you going to do after you have a heart attack?" I knew he liked humor, so I fired back with, "Well, at least I know you read my timeline." We both laughed and the next fifteen minutes are a bit of a blur. Thursday night and Friday were some of the LONGEST HOURS of my life. On Friday, just minutes before dismissal, my secretary alerted me that Dr. Denison and Mr. Hunt were on their way over to Cottonwood Creek. No sooner could I grab my lipstick (Andra would be proud) and they were at my door. Their poker faces truly had me prepared that they were coming to let me down easy. I knew who the other candidate was- a total rockstar- and I kept telling myself that I couldn't cry when they told me I could try again for the next school. We sat down and that is when I found out, I GOT THE JOB!
The dismissal bell rang and that is when I was told to tell my staff because an announcement was prepared to go out after school. WHOA! What about Dr. Penny? Did she know? What would she do? Do I have time to call my husband? How is the other person? Who's at the crosswalk? When would I start? Is this for real? Who's at the crosswalk? Who's at the crosswalk? I walked out of my office, all eyes staring at me. They knew something was up. It was time for my poker face. I walked out to the crosswalk, grabbed Chelsea, and spewed that they picked me. ME! I told her we couldn't hug, jump up and down, or squeal like little kids, because people would know. After the children left, I took five minutes in her office to compose an announcement to the staff. For the first time in my entire life, I was short of breath. I felt like my lungs could not get enough air. I tried to scribble down some notes and my hands shook like a jackhammer. I shared with my school family that I would be the new Principal of Richard J. Lee Elementary School. They erupted in cheers, clapping, and gasps.
I got home and wrote Michael a note on the bathroom mirror- "I got the job!" I ran upstairs and realized he was at the neighbors. I wanted to tell him in person, just him and I, but... He had other plans. I emailed this to Michael's email:
I went next door and the first thing Billy, Jeanne, and Michael asked was, "Did you get a call?" Well, I hadn't, so I said NO. I sat there for ten to fifteen minutes dying to tell him, "I GOT THE JOB! I GOT THE JOB!" Somehow we got to the point where Michael was looking at his phone. I told him I sent him an email and he read what I sent. He looked at me in a confused manner and I yelled out, "I GOT THE JOB!" After calling Mom and Dad, the next thing I knew...it was all about me as we had dinner at Bob's Chophouse. We read through texts, emails, Tweets, and Facebook posts together. Talk about a humbling experience! I have never felt so much love, support, and praise.
And...that is how I found out that I GOT THE JOB!