Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jim's Book Cover and Excerpt

As promised, here is the cover of Jim's Book and an excerpt in one of the chapters...
"We need some stability around here”, is a line spoken by Old Mr. in the movie, “The Color Purple.”  This line could serve as the mission statement of a principal in New Hampshire with whom we worked. He was tasked with bringing order and raising academic standards to a small but out- of- control high school.  At first glimpse, this stocky, former Marine with the requisite crew cut and tattoos on his forearm, caused one to wonder if his style of increasing stability was going to be a good match with the demands of the school.  Turns out it was just what the doctor ordered.  It only took two days of us training his staff and spending time in his building to learn that his tough exterior housed a heart of gold.  We watched as he spent each lunch period in the cafeteria,  knew every student by name and comfortably roamed from table to table, engaging students in relevant conversations ranging from movies to music to clothing to cars and motorcycles.  He even seemed to linger longer at the “peanut-free” table he had created for the handful of students who required such an environment.   His urban legend grew the day he jumped up from behind his desk and chased a student across the front lawn of the school, collared him and brought him back into the office to finish their conversation, all in view of classrooms filled with cheering students!  He wasn’t about to give up on that particular student, and those witnessing the scene felt convinced that he wouldn’t quit on them either.  His mantra was, “If it helps students, we’ll find a way to get it done!”

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