Monthly Archives: December 2018

May Your 2019 Be Practically Perfect in Every Way

blog mary poppins

My husband and I went to the movie Mary Poppins Returns last night. What a delightful show. If you haven’t seen it yet, please go! It is magical, enchanting, charming, witty, poised, and helps our inner child come back to life.

I have fond memories of the first Mary Poppins; watching it with my own children when they were young. So when this new one was advertised, I told my hubby we were having a date night with a large popcorn.

I absolutely LOVED this new version! I laughed. I cried! My heart did a flutter and a dance when Dick Van Dyke made his appearance and then danced on the desk. At 93, the man still has it! I smiled a big smile then did a fist pump while whispering YES when Mary Poppins saw her reflection in her balloon and said those well known words once again…Practically Perfect in Every Way.

Do you remember the scene from the first movie when she said those five words? Let’s reminisce for just a moment. After Mary Poppins arrived at the Banks home, she was upstairs with Michael and Jane and she is frantically looking in her bag for her measuring tape. Michael asks what for and she replies, “I want to see how you two measure up.” Their measurements? Michael is stubborn and Jane tends to giggle. The children want to know how Mary Poppins measures up. She measures herself and boasts; “as I expected…Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.” 🙂

With 2019 arriving in less than 24 hours, may I get personal and ask you how your 2018 measured up? Was it a stubborn and suspicious year? Was it a year full of giggles? Or, was it practically perfect in every way? No matter what kind of year 2018 was for you, let’s welcome the New Year with the advice from Jack in Mary Poppins Returns: “Let the past take a bow. The forever is now.” ❤

Blog let the past take a bow

We are excited to embrace NOW! Right now. This very moment. NOW…the best gift ever. We hope many doors are opened for you in 2019. Step through those doors, and enjoy the adventures that await you! Just like Mary Poppins did. And may your 2019 be “practically perfect in every way.” Happy New Year, readers! Thanks for always hanging out with us. May God bless you all!

Blog Dr V Me 2019

Stay Calm & Embrace Now!
Profs Dr. Wendy. & Dr. V.


Lessons Learned from Serving on the School Board


Blog school board (2)

Tonight was my last evening to serve as the School Board Chair. While it was my decision not to rerun, it is still bitter sweet!  I was first appointed and then elected to a 4 year term. In my quick 5 ¼ years on the school board, I was voted in as the chair each year for my last 3 years. An experience that I gained incredible insight from. Thank you to my esteemed board teammates for believing I could handle it. 🙂

This is my 32nd year as an educator…teaching elementary students in grades 3 and 5, then serving as an elementary principal, and now teaching teacher candidates at SMSU how to be powerful teachers. Serving as a school board member provided me the opportunity to view education through a brand new lens. An educational understanding you can only acquire by serving on the board.

Here are a few essential lessons I learned while serving the students of my home district as a school board member and chair:

Run for school board WITHOUT an agenda!

Read and understand the School Board Code of Ethics!

You can’t please everyone so always do what’s right for the kids!

Make your decisions for kids then move on!

Make INFORMED decisions!

Pray about every decision you make (this should be THE number one priority)!

Communicate with your state School Board Association for advice (THANK YOU to Sandy, Gary, Katie, and Cathy at MN School Board Association for ALL your help)!

Attend the yearly School Board Conference. Excellent leadership professional development!

Assume positive intent when you are questioned on your decisions!

Know that people will make speculations and assumptions (especially when they are not at the meetings and only get their information from the local newspaper).

Social media (especially Facebook) will attack you! It can get downright nasty…oh well!

Do NOT engage in social media rage!

You are ONE voice! Do not speak for the rest of the board!

Be professional!

Prep prior to the meeting!

Respect those who are speaking…no side bar conversations!

Listen to ALL points of view!

There are two sides to every story!

Bring ALL concerns to the superintendent!

Use face-to-face or a phone call to communicate with the superintendent!

Ask questions, then follow up on those questions!

Offer your perspective!

Respect the opinions of others!

Keep an open mind and heart!

Support the board after a final decision has been made!

NEVER tell the public “you will take care of it.”

Know your role!

You are NOT the superintendent!

You are NOT to micromanage!

You will finally know what you are doing by about year four!

And please, follow the chain of command!

Those are just a handful of lessons learned from my time serving. There are many more I could share, but I’ll save them for a possible book someday. 😮

A gratitude-filled shout out to my hometown, Pipestone, MN. Thank you for having faith in my abilities. Did I make mistakes? Of course I did! I’m human, and none of us are perfect. I strive for “continuous growth.” 🙂 However, I know my servant leadership had a positive impact and made an uplifting difference for this district while serving. And that is what life is all about…serving others. It’s been an honor and a pleasure! God bless!

Board Chair (Kyle Kuphal)

Photo Credit: Kyle Kuphal, Pipestone Co. Star

Stay Calm and Respect Your School Board,

Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.