School Board Election – Raj’s Victory Speech!
We are all winners today! We will uplift education for students improve opportunities for teachers, and upgrade our school system. This was a noble fight worthy of the sacrifices that brave men and women have made to give us choices. Their legacy lives on in our children. To honor sacrifices we must secure brilliant futures for children.
This choice to influence the school system was made for me when I discovered that the school system could use more inspiration. My book, which was resonating with students worldwide, had no path to helping students. I could quit or fight for a better future. What choice did I really have?
I chose the path of the molten metal. It’s what I inspire my client companies and professionals to do. When your core matches the mission, take inspiration from the molten metal. Persist. Fight on!
The red-hot molten metal on the fiery furnace is heated and pounded for days and sometimes weeks. Strongmen take turns beating and folding it for days. A vigilant master inspects the fiery blob’s texture, color, and molten mass and adds other metals until they all blend their red, grey, and silver colors into a deep shiny red. Thousands of spectators remark at the transformation. All impurities are burned and removed. The red-hot molten blob transforms into a Samurai blade. Elegant, strong, and flexible, it will slice through lesser metal swords and endure hard hits without blunting its edge. The new slate of the BVSD board is like the Samurai sword. It has taken a beating and emerged pure, strong, and elegant.
For two months, the community pounded the molten metal, the candidate slate. This helped all the candidates purify their proposals to build a strong and transparent board. Four publications interviewed and endorsed candidates. Two televised forums reached thousands at home and several hundred have replayed the YouTube videos. One radio station interview reached thousands more in our community. We have an engaged community that is worthy of the brave sacrifices.
The community, teachers, and students tested me. This work became another initiative where I dived in to learn and emerged with a collective set of positive actions. This work became my mentors’ lessons in action. The following are what emerged as top priorities:
Key School board and the school system priorities
- Show students that education is a shining path to dreams, aspirations, and goals.
- Engage the students’ minds and teach them to seek answers through education.
- Make schools safe creativity zones that connect to students’ passions.
- Inspire the students to reach so high that they jump over bigotry distractions.
- Uplift teachers’ respect by giving them a broader range of career growth paths.
- Empower teachers to reach for their own passions by using sabbaticals.
- Allow teachers more time to rejuvenate their creative faculties.
- Dream big and build the best school system on the planet.
- Reverse the chase by having such an impressive system that the best students, teachers, and staff gravitate to us.
Student priorities (sources: student input)
- A curriculum that connects to their passion.
- A teacher who can connect the curriculum to their passion.
- An intense study of the right stuff.
These steps will improve engagement and morale and allow them to learn about their passions at school (rather than at home after finishing homework, chores, and jobs) and free them up to catch adequate sleep. Driven by their passion and curiosity, their own motivation will power their learning to the next level. They will fix their achievement gap by themselves.
As an entire community, we have broadened our vision from the tactical operational issues of the hiring of a new superintendent or managing budgets, minutiae to step back and regroup first.
Before hiring a superintendent (or making other major commitments) we will:
- Set internal priorities, success criteria, and measurements.
- Invite public comments on the priorities, criteria, and measurements.
- Require all qualified candidates to present their plans in a public forum.
It’s the perfect path to a transparent and trusted collaboration between the candidates, community, and the board.
The wise scrutiny and passionate debate fit the brilliance of our community. It’s a worthy of us to set impossible goals and achieve them. In speaking of our children’s futures, nothing less is acceptable, and nothing less honors the lives of those brave men and women who gave us the freedom to choose.
Like the forging of the Samurai Sword, we have hammered out imperfections in vision and clarified how to uplift students, teachers, and community. The compass points in the right direction, and we have illuminated the path to the Everest, to the top. What a climb to the top this has been. Bravo!
The students win. The teachers win. The community wins. We all are winners and you are my heroes. I feel like a winner already.
Thank you for all the inspiration!