In my extended family we celebrate the 24th of July like it's Christmas. It's something that we've done for more years than I think anybody realizes. The 24th always makes me think about the early settlers of Utah as I sat at the parade and watched representations of Utah's early history come streaming past. This year I have been thinking about the pioneering educators that have influenced me and have helped me to grow. I think that most importantly I have to give a big shout out to Mary Green at Valley Junior High School and Kathy Gaskins at Granger High School. Their lessons were the kind of lessons that helped to shape my thinking and forced me to go out on a limb in my own education. They expected great things and pushed me to achieve that. In college I had the honor of taking classes from Dr. Scott Hunsaker and Dr. Parker Fawson. These two gentlemen helped to lay the foundation for my early ideas of what a classroom should look like and how I might achieve the classroom that I wanted. In my mind these are all pioneers because they laid the foundation for those who came after them. I owe them a huge thanks and a way to go. I appreciate all of the teachers and educators who help shape me as an educator and who continually share their great ideas.
So as you embrace the upcoming school year with excitement and enthusiasm I hope that you too will be a pioneer for the future educators in your classroom. I hope that you will find pioneering lessons in your departments/teams/PLCs as you use continue to shape the future. You rock! You are amazing! Thanks so much for being the educational pioneer that we need!