Equity Warriors, Lead On!

There is a certain friendly ring to the year 2022. A balance to the numbers. We certainly can use some rebalancing in our lives and in this nation!

I fell asleep about two hours before the end of the year. I found myself having no words of goodbye for 2021 and only a few words of welcome to 2022. I found myself feeling a quiet resolve to let go and move on. These are strange times and we can feel strange – I think that’s ok. At midnight, the Honolulu fireworks went off and I woke up and went to my lanai to watch. I had a great view of the ship out in the water and could see the cannons firing off the amazing light display. I didn’t hear any cheering – the night was quiet in between the booms. I didn’t watch the whole show, despite this amazing front row view. I watched for a few minutes, and then despite the loud explosions, I went back to bed and fell fast asleep. Perhaps the loud fireworks of New Years, which had been cancelled due to COVID in the previous two years, was normalizing enough to feel tired and content.

The years 2020 and 2021 will forever be unforgettable and strange years. In my collegial world of School Superintendents, we had more meetings than we had ever experienced before, dealing with everything from difficult decisions related to the health pandemic, putting in place numerous safety nets for children and their families, to sharing war stories and supporting one another through the political crisis we were being crushed under while trying to maintain focus on our students and employees. The midweek check-in to see who had reached their tipping point and were leaving the profession, became standard.

Change, including unexpected change, that comes out of a crisis can feel very destabilizing but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The road to the Superintendent position is a challenging one, especially for women and more so for women of color. To find yourself now stepping down, stepping away, or just unsure of your next step decision because of the exhaustion you feel, can be very disconcerting. And yet, have you forgotten that you are a warrior? You are a resilient leader with executive level skills. You are a proven asset to the community. You are an important role model for our nation’s children and for other women. You have made it through one of the most difficult time periods and served selflessly and boldly.