My Book!!

One opportunity that the blog has brought me is the co-authoring of a guidebook, Paddling Southern Maine! It is something in which I take a lot of pride! My writing partner, Sandy Moore, and I have created a book with 54 amazing trips that are within about an hour of Portland! Our motto as we wrote the book was wanting to 'get people to spend the day on the water and not in their cars!'

If you want more information on our book please visit Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at for more information!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Not exactly kayak related...

Hello Blog friends! 

Whoa... what a day I had..  This isn't kayak related, but it is about me... one of the non-paddling parts of my life... Today I was named the  2019 Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year for the state of Maine!  The entire state of Maine!  HOLY MOLY!  (Click Here for the article from the Portland Press. )

This fall I learned I had been nominated for this award... and I cried, to be honest.  The last few years have had some challenges for me.  While I love the work I do with kids sometimes the other 'stuff' can be really hard.  In telling the story I suppose I should go back to my first teaching job... I was young... so young... just out of college and got my first teaching gig.  There were a lot of good things in that job...and things that were really frustrating.  I had taken a concern, a big concern, to my administrators...and at the time they were mostly new to the district and while they thought my concern was...well concerning... they felt powerless to take any action.  Colleagues told me to let things lie... to let it be.... or else the person about whom I had concerns would 'make my life hell.' 

Well... I have never been someone to look the other way when things need to be examined... and as things unfolded this person...who at the time had been appointed my mentor...made my life hell... and no administrator did anything about it.  I was so bewildered...and became very disenchanted with teaching... it was not what I had expected... I loved my students and their families...and adored many of my colleagues... but after two years... I quit.  I quit without another job to go to... my parents were... concerned!  I ended up leaving the state for a year to work with a family I had worked with for a few summers... and missed having a classroom, missed working with multiple kids... so I returned to Maine... and got a job... I spent 12 years in that position... and during that time I examined my role and the role other people played... at times, like most teachers, I was frustrated with the way things were done.  Instead of just bitching about it.. I decided to start taking some see if my complaints were bitch-worthy or if they were in fact the way things were 'supposed' to be done...
I took on more leadership roles within my school... started an advisory program... and eventually knew I was ready to change roles.

Seven years ago I became an assistant principal... Those seven years have been interesting... again, as always, my favorite part has been working with the kids...even the tough kids... maybe mostly the tough kids... I have worked with a lot of other administrators and learned something from each of them... from some I learned more than others... not always what to do... sometimes what NOT to do... Politics are always involved... and there were some politics that were very difficult...some situations that made it difficult at times to go to work... but the kids... the kids pulled me into work, even on days where I didn't want to be there... I have worked hard... under difficult circumstances at times... always staying student focused... Last year - after learning a lot about a lot... I was hurt, felt unvalued, and seriously considered leaving... but this time, before leaving I found my voice... about some of the things that had happened... I had A LOT to say... and decided to see how some things would play out... I am so glad I stayed around... I have learned even more through this process and am motivated to do more work to empower my students AND my colleagues... there is so much work to be done - work I want to do!!

As I told my students and staff today... to me this award does not mean I am the best assistant principal in the state.. it means that the work I do, the relationships I build do make differences...and that my work is recognized... and for that I am very proud. 

Oh.. and the kayak part of this post... this morning as I was finalizing my outfit, knowing about the assembly and award... I was deciding which earrings to wear... and I needed something grounding...something that reminded me that I am me... despite being the center of attention today (which you may not believe is difficult for me!)  So... I wore my kayak earrings and told myself 'just keep paddling!' 

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