Essay: I am called to serve

An essay. A broadcast letter. An answer to a call.
Portsmouth, Virginia
September 5th, 2007

I am called to serve the faculty, students, and stakeholders of a small, independent, secondary school as a senior leader. While my call has not come to me from a burning bush, it is clear, firm, and loud. This call demands I put my skills and talents in contribution to a school community. I bring a vigorous background in organizational leadership and management, a strong skill set in conflict resolution, and a gift for working with diverse people.

I seek a school which is small, so that relationships thrive, no one is lost, and everyone makes an impact. I seek a school with a progressive educational program and a strong boarding program; learning cannot be confined to mere days: student growth and learning happens not just in the classroom, but in those unexpected places a vibrant school provides. I seek a school which knows and honors its mission and values with all stakeholders firmly moving in the same direction.

For the last decade, I have served as an organizational performance consultant, advising senior leaders in the Coast Guard on leadership and management issues; I create sustaining systems and processes to address leadership, planning, process, and human resource challenges. I have also served as a counselor and mediator in the agency's civil rights & equal employment programs.

Before coming to the Coast Guard as a civil servant, I taught English, history, and theatre at Wyoming Seminary; I coached lacrosse, served as the technical director of the performing arts center, and directed full-length plays. I lived in the dorm, serving as the lead faculty in the upper class boys' dormitory, and I advised several co-curricular activities.

I have earned a bachelor's degree in English and two master's degrees (one in counseling & human development and the other in national security & strategic studies). I have finished all but the dissertation for a doctorate in organizational leadership & conflict resolution; I anticipate receiving that degree in 2009.

What would I bring to a small, independent, secondary school? I bring a love of teaching, a sense of duty & honor, and a diverse background allowing me to serve as the head of school or an associate head in academics, faculty, institutional development, or students.