The new school year is in full swing and is going very well.

Each season brings change, in the fall the leaves change colors, winter brings snow and each spring the trees grow new leaves. Much like trees, I think it is important for us to grow and we can do this by changing the “color of our leaves” – our habits. I recently read Jon Gordon’s book, “The Energy Bus.”

“The Energy Bus” begins with a scenario we have all probably encountered in our lives. It is Monday morning and the lead character, George, walks out his front door to find his car has a flat tire. Unfortunately, this is the least of his problems. His relationship with his wife and kids are in disarray, and his team at work is in shambles. With a new product launch coming in a couple of weeks, he is desperately trying to find a way to pull things together or risk losing his job, kids and marriage. His family, friends, and co-workers hate to be around him, because he is always negative and angry. Forced to take the bus, George meets a unique bus driver named Joy, and an interesting set of passengers that over the course of two weeks share the 10 Rules for the ride of his life.

These 10 Rules are full of purpose and have real-life application. They are easy to follow, understand, and they tie into our District Mission Statement, “…help students develop critical thinking and lifelong learning skills necessary for their next step in life.” I whole heartedly agree with the book’s belief that positive energy and vison must be greater than anyone’s and everyone’s negativity.

Below are a few of the rules on the bus are:

Rule #1: “You’re the Driver of the Bus.” – Many people feel like they don’t have a choice, so they give up. We must remember, we do have a choice. We can choose to take the wheel and create the life we want. It just takes one thought, one action, and one choice at a time.

Rule #2: “Desire, Vision, and Focus Move Your Bus in the Right Direction.” – The more we focus on something, the more we think about it, and the more it shows up in our lives. Each decision must be in the direction of our goal and we must be resilient when faced with obstacles. Remember, complaining is focusing on the negative.

Rule #3: “Fuel your Ride with Positive Energy.” – Positive energy is what will fuel us to overcome the obstacles and keep us on course. Choosing to be positive is important when responding to negative people and negative situations. We can’t control the EVENTS in our lives, but we control our RESPONSE to them.

Rule #4: “Invite People on Your Bus and Share Your Vision for the Road Ahead.” – This one is crucial for me as Superintendent. We must remember that we can’t always do things alone. We need to surround ourselves with a good team. We need good people who are positive and create it. We must share our vision and make it clear what we expect.

Rule #5: “Don’t’ Waste Your Energy on Those Who Don’t Get on Your Bus.” – Negativity is the enemy. In the book Joy shares how we can deal with negativity. She says that we shouldn’t worry about it, don’t waste our time or energy on people who aren’t on the bus.

Rule #6: “Post a Sign That Says: No Energy Vampires Allowed.” – Joy is imply reminding us to surround ourselves with a positive support team. The team we surround ourselves with will have a big influence on our lives, so we must surround ourselves with people who will increase our energy, not drain it. We have to be strong enough to let people know that negativity is not allowed. Justifiable negativity can be discussed, but bring a solution to the table.

Rule #7: “Enthusiasm Attracts More Passengers and Energizes Them During the Ride.” – People want to associate with a winner. In professional and college sports it seems that that the same teams are at or near the top year after year. Players recognize good culture and want to be a part of it. We need people on our team who are excited, positive, and optimistic. A positive culture will outperform a negative culture every time. This is so true for our schools!

Rule #8: “Love Your Passengers.” – You can’t fake it. We have to let people know we care for them. When we do this we will get love back.

Rule #9: “Drive with Purpose.” – Purpose is the ultimate fuel for our journey through life. When we have a purpose, we don’t become tired, bored or burned out. We must find our purpose and share it.

Rule #10: “Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride.” – Do you ever remember getting tired when playing as a kid? I don’t either! In fact it never crossed my mind. The same is true when we are energized by our work and the people around us.

My hope is that you find this applicable in your life and to make our district and community even stronger and committed to each other. BLUE PRIDE!