No, these are not the kicks with which Mr. Bottoms graced the Croatan corridors for 12 years. Instead, they are a worthy pair of Skechers that I don occasionally to alleviate knee joint pain related to athletic wear and tear compounded by primitive surgical methods of days gone by.
And, oh yes, if the “portable power plants” in these shoes shape up my musculature and skeletal structure as I walk (as advertised)–then that is just a convenient added benefit. To date, I’m uncertain that I’ve noticed this result.
One thing about these shoes is that they are mighty big. But, folks told me when I got to Croatan that I would have some mighty big shoes to fill…so I wear them often and wear them well.
I’m no stranger to filling big shoes. Back in 2000, I followed Mary Forrest as Carteret County’s director of media and technology. As director, Mary was an iconic visionary who built the momentum and pulled the strings to get Carteret County Schools squarely into the digital age for the long haul. I was blessed to have her as a mentor.
Further, I’m no stranger to following Mat Bottoms. Back in ’94 when we were both at West Carteret, Mat was selected Teacher of the Year out of 102 teachers. I was runner up.
Four years ago, when I left central services to venture into school-based administration, Millie Temple was tapped as my replacement. She had just completed 8 years as the tech facilitator for Mr. Bottoms at Croatan.
And as she rolled into Central Services, I rolled into Croatan to begin my first school-based admin internship under the tutelage of Professor Bottoms…once again following the path to successful schools that he was blazing.
Now, as principal of Croatan, my goal is to tread the path that has been so dutifully set. That is, to continue the gold standard of high academic success for all…and to fortify the support systems that make success happen.
As with the long and winding career path behind me, I intend to wear out a sole or two in the process of leadership at Croatan. But we can always get some new shoes…even some with purported futuristic technical advantages… as we walk this leg of the journey together. Can’t we?
Shall we walk?