A Message From Dr. Bell  

September 03, 2014
One thing I have learned in my short forty-three year tenure of working in and with public schools is that each new school year provides new and unique challenges. This year has been no exception. The true measure of success is how these challenges are approached and solved. I find that quality people working together, rather than taking random potshots at fellow team members or the challenge originators, create a synergistic state that yields exemplary results.

One of the reasons that ESU 10 exists is to serve as a problem solver to assist school districts work though their many and varied challenges. It’s one of the most stimulating and rewarding parts of an ESU employee’s job. I am the first to admit that we don’t always initially agree as to how to solve a problem, but I do find that the collective genius of this group working with the bright minds located in all of the school districts that we serve can create exponential and quality results. This is essential to meet the ESU 10 mission to “partner with our customers to meet changing needs through professional expertise, training, and support.”  

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Norman Vincent Peale early on a Sunday morning in 1986 at the Marconi Center in San Francisco. My crew was up early and wandering about and stumbled into Dr. Peale checking the microphones before he gave an address to the national school superintendent conference. He took the time to greet us and shared a bit of wisdom. The exact quote has dimmed in my addled mind but in essence he said that each day when we wake up we should pray for problems in our lives because solving them makes us feel more alive. Well, there are some days I would prefer a more subdued existence, but I have found his words to ring true over and over again over the years.  He would have made a great ESU administrator.

Since we are all in this together, one of the activities the ESU 10 staff completed in our August all staff meeting was an exercise designed to offer insight as to who we are so we could identify our Career Code. The session was facilitated by one of the Career Code founders, Tracy Lungrin. This was a very entertaining learning opportunity. Each participant had the opportunity to discover his/her two-letter code combo. We had the opportunity to identify people in our lives who exhibited one of the six interest codes. Then we shared our codes with those in our departments. The next step is to post a composite list to all staff so that we can ascertain how to better work with all individuals within the organization to maximize our individual and corporate strengths. I turned out to be a Conventional/Social: The Coordinator. Supposedly I am a unique mix: organized and kind, productive, and pleasant. I will need to work on my control issues to be more effective. The ESU 10 staff will be very happy to take note of that observation.

That is enough introspection for one month. Thank you to all of you great educators in the ESU 10 area and don’t forget to use us to help you solve problems. If you don’t get the results you seek, you now know at least one person in the organization who is pleasant and productive and here to help! Our focus is on serving you.