Skills Gap vs. Education Gap
Historic unemployment rates have brought significant attention to the “skills gap.” The Skills Gap is the difference between the number of available skilled jobs compared to the number of skilled workers available to fill those jobs. One of the main contributors to the gap is the “craftsmen” working population is retiring in droves. Another contributor is the lack of people in the workforce.
Lockdown and Innovation
Several years ago, I received a call that no school administrator ever wants to get. At the time, I was at a meeting in Oklahoma City. The message was that there was a man with a gun on campus – “we are in lockdown.” The next several hours were terrifying, and I felt utterly helpless.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
This summer, my niece and nephew spent a few weeks with me. They are ten and eleven years old and go non-stop from the time they get up until they go to bed at night. In between, everything is a contest. We have a pool, and the kids found a way to compete at everything they did in the pool.
Education Done Differently
There is nothing quite like the energy that fills the hallways on the first day of school. Students and educators have a bit of anxiety and excitement for what the new school year can bring. After a few days, everyone begins to settle into a routine, and that excitement levels off unless you’re at Tri County Tech.
Life is About Balance and Moderation
A Happy Father’s Day text came from my daughter about 2:00 p.m. on Father’s Day. The message said, “GOOD MORNING (well afternoon, I just got service).” I responded by saying, “Oh, thank you, I am kinda jealous that you haven’t had service.” I was jealous because I knew Jordan had been “off the grid” hiking a mountain in Alberta, Canada.
Smell the Roses
Where did the time go? I have been asking myself that question ever since I received notification of my 30-year high school reunion. It seems like yesterday that I was hanging with my friends at Skiatook Lake living a simpler life. This time of year with events like graduations, reunions, and vacations, the question about time comes up more frequently.
You Can’t Be Everything to Everybody
Last month I had the biggest of honor of my professional career when Tri County Tech accepted the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award. The award is the highest Presidential Award for performance excellence in the nation. The award was the culmination of thirteen years of dedication and discipline that has allowed our organization to transform thousands of lives in our community.
The Real Trophy
In 1999, I traveled north to a hunting camp in Buffalo County Wisconsin. I was beyond excited. At the time, Buffalo county was known for producing big bucks and had more deer per acre than any county in the United States. Al, my ex-second cousin-in-law (yes that is a real thing), owned a farm in the county and invited a handful of folks from all around. Little did we know at the time that the trip would be the first of many that not only produced several big bucks but more importantly created life-long friends.
Work Doesn’t Have to be a Burden
“People in the United States work to live at 65,” may well be one of the most profound statements I have heard in my lifetime. My daughter said this after spending seven months in Asia. Her account caused me to think about how we are living the precious life we have.
Say “YES” and Transform Your Relationships
Yes. This simple, yet powerful word can be transformational – it can help you to avoid procrastination, stick to commitments and build better relationships. This lesson came to me over 20 years ago, and the wisdom still resonates with me today.
My daughter Eva and I recently spent the weekend playing Candy Land, hide and seek, shopping, and dress up. We were stag while my wife, Leigh Ann, met her cycling teammates from across the country for “bike camp” in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
I started my day today in a deer blind in the far northeast corner of the in-law’s farm. I enjoy hunting, but not for the same reasons I did when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. Back then, my only goal was to harvest a whitetail buck, and I’m happy to say I did on many occasions…
A Good Day – According to a Four Year Old!
Just the other day on our way home from school and work, I asked my daughter Eva how her day was. She excitedly replied, “Great.” She went on to say, “How was your’s daddy?” With the same enthusiasm as Eva, I replied: “great too.” I peeked in the rearview mirror to see her smiling…
If experience were the best teacher, then all of the “mature” people would be running the world. They would be the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, have all the wealth, and hold all the most influential positions. Of course, that is not the case because “experience” is not the best teacher…
Grit & Grace
If you’re like me when you the hear the word grit, you can’t help but think of the 1969 John Wayne classic movie True Grit. In the movie, Frank Ross is killed by his hired hand, Tom Chaney. Frank’s daughter, Maddie, wants justice, so she travels to Ft. Smith Arkansas where she hires U.S. Marshall Reuben “Rooster” J. Cogburn (John Wayne) to track down…
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Before Christmas last year, my daughter, Jordan, told me she was going to Asia. I said, “well, that is fantastic!” But, inside I was full of apprehension and fear. After all, she is my daughter and was 24 at the time. She has lived and traveled extensively abroad. Yet, I suspect a father’s concern will always be present regardless of how old his children are…
Freedom of Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness
The reality of my son turning 18 hit home when I went to check the mail this week. A few days before his birthday registration for the Selective Service System arrived. It is difficult for me to imagine my son being eligible to serve his country in the military…
If I had a Nickel
If I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me what I do during the summer, I would surely be able to afford a Caribbean Cruise. I am finishing my 27th year in education, and as the summer months approach friends, acquaintances, strangers, and Facebook followers inquire what I do with my three months off each year – I only wish….
Monday Calls and Mother’s Day
It took me nearly five years to break the habit of the Monday call after mom passed. I would pick up the phone, let it ring and then remember.
For years, every Monday I would call my mom on the way home from work. It was my routine and one that I sometimes dreaded…
April Fool’s Day 2013 was like no other April Fool’s Day. It was on this day our dog, Lucky was born. Or we think he was born, because we don’t actually know the exact day he was born. However, after the series of events that led him to become a part of our family, we felt April Fool’s day was, and still is, the appropriate day to celebrate his birthday…
Say “Hi,” and Live to be 100
The other night at the grocery store people were scurrying about grabbing last minute Valentine’s gifts before heading home after work. I was grabbing some chicken to grill when I ran into my yoga friend, Pete. I was caught off guard to see him at the grocery store; this location was out of context…
If at First You Don’t Succeed
February is without a doubt my favorite month of the year. It starts with Groundhog Day, reminding us that Spring is not far away. The month ends with my birthday (February 26 if you’re wondering). Most importantly, February is home to St. Valentine’s Day! The one day a year it is ok…no, it is imperative, that you woo your special someone…
Hide & Seek and Priorities
Just the other day, out of the blue my three-year-old daughter, Eva, asked me to play “hide and seek.” It made me smile ear to ear! I didn’t realize she knew the game, and fond memories flooded my thoughts of playing hide and seek, war, and fishing along the banks of the small creek close to my childhood home in Turley, Oklahoma…