Do you remember the Dr. Seuss’ book entitled, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street? You probably read it as a kid. It was about some amazing things that occurred in an ordinary neighborhood and a quite common street.
Several days ago, I blogged about an unusual opportunity that I and our team at Growing Leaders had to speak to the school superintendents from all over the state of Georgia. Because of the attendees, we called the event: The Super Summit. It was a grand day—and a very different day—for everyone. I found myself reminded of this: And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street! One hundred and fifty superintendents showed up for a day of inspiration, study and re-tooling for how to best equip the next generation of kids who will be leading our country in twenty years. We were so pleased to have the chance to invest in these unsung heroes who are attempting to lead and repair a difficult education system.
Many were surprised by our Governor, Nathan Deal, who came and spoke to the attendees. He reminded them that his mother was a teacher and that reading skills were paramount to get kids ready for adult life and to prevent them from derailing and spending time in prison. (One in fourteen are under some sort of punitive response to criminal activity). In addition, State Superintendent Dr. John Barge spoke, sharing his heart for transforming students by focusing on their:
- Head (A plan to raise math, reading and science scores)
- Hands (A plan to get them ready for employment)
- Heart (A plan to build leadership and character in these kids).
I promised you I’d blog about the results. The day was very encouraging. Obviously, it wasn’t intended to be a “silver bullet” or a “magic wand.” It did, however, encourage and equip many educational leaders (decision makers) who are in the trenches each week with principals, teachers and kids. The responses from attendees?
- “This day was surprisingly helpful. I didn’t’ know what to expect, but the Super Summit was far better than anything I’d hoped for.”
- “If you host an event like this again, you will need to find a larger venue to hold all the leaders who’ll be there.”
- “I believe I received my entire game plan for my schools to build leadership and character in the students and faculty.”
I send my HUGE thanks to Dale Alexander, president of Alexander and Company for the vision to do this event. They found sponsors and co-hosted the event. Dale’s heart to equip young people is gigantic. Thanks a million, Dale!