Saturday, February 16, 2019

Farewell Mr. Lee

Mr. Lee has been a colleague in my school system for about 30 years. I first came to know him by the stories people told about him and how kind, welcoming, and supportive he was towards their children. Children who had rough starts in school would land in Mr. Lee's class and he would transform their experience of school resulting in greater confidence and happiness. Stories like that drew my attention to Mr. Lee.

When our principal was leaving and we needed a new principal, Mr. Lee was encouraged to apply. He was chosen out of a pool of many candidates mostly because he had the experience and reputation of being an advocate of what is right and good for children. Our staff of veteran teachers as well as parents and administrators recognized the importance of that and selected Mr. Lee as principal of our school many years ago.

Mr. Lee brought many new ideas and positive practices to our school over the years. Those that are most pronounced in my mind include the following:
  • A service learning culture
  • Weekly School Assemblies
  • Kindness Matters school motto and focus
  • Respect and support for child-centered, playful teaching and learning
  • Respect for educators' personal lives and needs
  • Positivity with respect to educators' efforts to teach well
  • Care for each and every child--when you see the way children look at Mr. Lee, you melt. Children really love him.
  • A welcoming office with his own art work depicting storybook characters
  • Regular communication with staff via his Friday memo
  • Encouragement and support for educator's professional learning
Mr. Lee can be proud of his years as a principal. He fostered a warm and welcoming school climate that respected the personal needs and interests of students, parents, and teachers. We have all learned a lot from him and know that he will bring his talents and interests forward in ways that he'll be able to enjoy even more without the hurried pace a principal has each and every day.

The student newspaper wrote a good piece about Mr. Lee--one that I want to remember so I've linked it here.