Friday, August 6, 2010

Influence: The Mainland Years

After a slight hiatus from blogging due to a powerful mission trip to Michigan, we have returned.

Mainland High School is a special place to me. My mother and father graduated from there as my sister and I also did. When I graduated from college I was blessed to get a job at my old alma mater and spent nine very good years there as a teacher and the head athletic trainer. I don't think one blog could give credit to all of the people who invested in me and influenced me as a leader today, but here are a few:

Dan Eppelheimer-assistant principal, athletic trainer, mentor and friend. His passion for youth today and for seeing them succeed is contagious. You never doubt where you stand with Dan-glad I stood in a good place.

Dick Toth-athletic director extraordinaire and great friend. Committing his entire life to working with young people and understanding the connection between athletics and positive student growth is a trait to be valued. Also a great coach and leader for several generations of young men & women.

Charles Brinkerhoff-coach, teacher and friend. It was a pleasure to watch him coach and work with young men for several years. One of the most intelligent people I know who always challenged me. Our friendship was formed over the years through countless hours traveling and a bond of Christian brotherhood.

Doug Stanley-football coach and friend. Doug was the football coach at MHS my first two years as a faculty member there and taught me valuable lessons in caring for students and developing a family atmosphere in your staff. It was a brief football span together, but I value those lessons and our friendship.

Patsy Graham-principal, mentor and mother figure to us all. Patsy was my boss for the last seven years of my MHS tenure and was the most influential leader I have served under. She was challenging and loving, and managed to get the best out of an impetuous young man who's ego got out of control too many times. I always said that I would follow Patsy into hell and back and that is an honest statement. Telling her that I was leaving to go into ministry was one off the hardest things I have ever done.

As I write this, so many other names of influential friends & family come to mind: Ellen Clontz, Gertrude Sheppard, Greg Cardino, Jim Gardinier, Derrick Henry, Barb Putnam, Jesse Duval, Tim Huth, Tom Novotny, Cheryl Salerno, Melissa Carr, Jamie Pinyan, Don Garner, John Maronto and so many others.

My Mainland family holds a very special place in my heart that no one else can take. Thanks to all of them for influencing me in more ways than they could possibly know.

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