Monthly Archives: October 2013

Interview with Daniel Wong

The following is a Q & A between Daniel Wong and me.


Daniel Wong, Author/Speaker

Daniel Wong is the author of The Happy Student: 5 Steps to Academic Fulfillment and Success. He works with students, educators and parents in the areas of coaching, running workshops, and giving talks. His personal mission is to empower others with the mindset and methods to lead a meaningful and marvelous life.

In addition to his popular book, he writes regularly at his website, Living Large, about topics related to education, career and personal development. Interested in hearing Daniel speak? He will be a key-note at the NASSP Ignite Conference in Dallas February 2014. Continue reading

5 Simple Lessons From a 10-year-old

Tobias, a 10 year-old Oklahoma boy, wrote a letter to a local TV station because he had a dream for his 11 year old brother who has Cerebral Palsy.

Tobias: running for his brother

He asked if they could spread the word that he wanted to borrow a large jogging stroller for a local 5k run that was coming up.

Tobias’s dream was to push his brother through the race, but their single mom could not afford to buy a jogging stroller.

Of course, when the news station spread the word, a sponsor quickly donated the stroller, and Tobias’s run and story were broadcast on the evening news. Continue reading

Interview with James Johnston

The following is a Q & A between James Johnston and me.


Photo from Oregonian Times

James Johnston is the Principal of Alice Ott Middle School and the 2013 Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year.

My goal in posting interviews with successful leaders like James is to inspire us to reflect on how our own choices, goals, and actions can affect our lives, our leadership, and our teams. I must also give credit to John Lee Dumas whose great podcast interview questions I have modified for the Q & A’s I have with my guests.

WDP: Thanks for the opportunity to learn from you! Can you start by sharing your favorite success or motivational quote?
James: I like the quote, “Champions Find A Way.” Continue reading

A Lesson From A Cross-Walk Guard

This year, my two youngest children started walking to and from school.
On the first day, they were excited to tell us about their favorite crossing guard: Mr. Charlie, a grandfatherly man who stops each child to introduce himself.

He talked so long that first day, they began to fear they would be late to school. He was equally glad to see them on their way home.

Mr. Charlie is the first and last impression of school they encounter each day.

Just a few days ago, they told me they were on their walk home from school when they came to the last cross-walk. Suddenly, they realized Mr. Charlie wasn’t there. They stopped and looked at one another. One by one the children behind them began to pile up. None of them had ever crossed without Mr. Charlie before. Continue reading

10 Ways to Communicate About Your School

Recently, on a Twitter feed, I saw the quote: Communication is 100% of what a principal does.


Photo credit: SidVicious08

Although this may seem like an exaggeration, I believe it is true of almost all educators, especially school leaders.

This past weekend, I was attending a school event, when a parent stopped me to say thanks for a recent group email I had sent. Then another parent stopped me and said the same. Then I received a nice thank-you email the next day too.

Believe me, I still get lots emails, phone calls, and visits about concerns, but it is refreshing to also receive positive feedback from parents. And I am convinced this doesn’t happen by accident.

When it comes to communication, there is no silver bullet, but there are many tools you can use. Based on the practices at my school, here is a list of 10 ways you can keep those lines of positive communication open with your parents, students, and community: Continue reading