(Kingfisher, OK): While visiting Kingfisher Schools, I was able to meet with Sheila Redwine (PEP Grant Project Manager) and Superintendent Don Scales. I was extremely impressed with these two leaders and look forward to all of the great physical education programs the PEP funds will put in place over the next 3 years.
For Sheila, this was her school district’s third attempt in writing a PEP Grant. “Three’s a charm,” she said when Kingfisher Schools was awarded the $1 million plus grant. She and her Lead PE teachers really have been on top of this grant!
And of course, you need the support from “The Top.”
Don is a former Superintendent at a neighboring school district and completed a successful stint at the Oklahoma Department of Education before being named the leader for Kingfisher Schools. He has a very remarkable (and selfless) ability to always give credit to his teachers and students. “When you work with such talented educators, great things happen!” He repeated this several times as we talked.
While this (Don’s ability to give credit to the teachers and students first) seems like such a small thing, it is rare commodity for many educational leaders to possess. I recently remarked to a close friend of mine about how impressed I was to see this “humble and servant-type” leadership.
He replied, “It makes sense… I remember when Doc Hamilton (long-time Western Carolina University PE faculty member) was appointed as the Interim Dean of the School of Education. Doc said he took the job – ‘Just to straighten up and get a few things in order so they could then hire a person who really knew how to run the place.'”
“Give and Take” Of course, Doc could have easily handled the Dean’s job if he’d wanted to. But, training young men and women to be physical educators was his passion. And the many hundreds of fine PE teachers Western continues to produce is a testament to this. Being “old school,” Doc knew what to do: “Give and Take” — Take things in stride, Take the blame when things go wrong, and Give others the credit when things go right!
We need more of this style of leadership!