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  • Friday High Five: May 21

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 5/21/2021

    Song on Repeat this week... "Michigan and Again" by The Accidentals

    When the school years wind down, my mind tends to wander to the things I like to do most in the summer. A trip to Michigan in the summer always puts me in a happier place. I love the warm days and cool crisp nights. I love the Mackinaw Bridge. I love Mackinaw Island. I love the hills, lakes, Lake Michigan lakeshore.

    This song makes me think of that happy place even when I can't get there.

    I am thinking about...self care.

    Take care of yourself.

    In my 25 Rules and Observations of Life, Rule #5 states "Everything in life falls into two categories, worth it, or not worth it."

    Taking care of yourself is always worth it - Full Stop.

    Please take time to take care of yourself this summer. I know you are busy being a mom, a dad, a spouse, a sibling, a son, a daughter, a friend, a confidante. I know you are busy. We are all busy.

    Take care of yourself.

    We are not worth anything to others if we have nothing to give.

    It is not selfish to take care of ourselves. It is necessary.

    Read.

    Listen to music.

    Rest.

    Breathe.

    Smile.

    Give thanks.

    Take care of yourself.

    I ran across this webpage of a few quotes on Self Care. Maybe take a minute to scan them. Maybe put one on a sticky not on your bathroom mirror this summer. 

    Take care of yourself. You're worth it.

    I am thankful for... senior class leaders. We have some pretty amazing seniors graduating next week. I know, we say that every year. And every year it is true.

    They are amazing, in part, because of their support systems.

    Whether you are a bus driver, food service team member, custodian, maintenance team member, teacher, IA, clerical staff member, administrator, or coach, you are part of that support system. You own a piece of the amazing.

    Thank you to the seniors for the legacy they are leaving behind of service, kindness, and leadership.

    Thank you to everyone who supported them - and will continue to support the next group of amazing graduates next year.

    Quote I am pondering...  "Self -control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power." - James Allen 

    I am hopeful for... Perfect weather on Saturday, May 29 for our seniors, their families, and their friends.

    Thank you all for a tremendous effort this year. Stay safe and healthy.

    I appreciate all of you and all that you do for our students and families!!

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  • Friday High 5: May 7

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 5/7/2021

    Song on Repeat this week... "I'm Amazing" - Keb Mo

    Quote I am thinking about... "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." - Aristotle

    I was searching for some thoughts from famous teachers for this week's High Five in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week. So I thought, why not start with Aristotle.

    When I scrolled through the quotes, I was struck by the above quote. How telling it is that the person credited for creating various fields of study such as zoology, meteorology, astrology, philosophy, and rhetoric, was also so reflective on the power of the arts.

    We need the arts, and we need the reminder to stop, and reflect on the beauty, and even the mystery of art. We need to wrestle with our thoughts. We need to question our beliefs from time to time, take inventory, and recenter and refocus. It is the challenges that art brings to us that provide the resolve to continue in our current direction, or perhaps realize that there may be other perspectives we should consider.

    I believe Aristotle's quote is deeper than asking the reader to consider the inward significance of the person observing the sculpture, the painting, the music, or in the case of many of us last weekend, the musical theater performance (shout out to LHS Performing Arts' performance of The Adams Family). I believe he is reminding us that the inward significance will be different for everyone. And the inward significance of others has value. 

    I am thankful for...teachers.

    I hope you had a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week. Thank you to our PTO's and other groups who continue to support teachers. Recently we have begun delivering Tiger P.R.I.D.E. champion announcements to students during class as a surprise. We began this practice when our School Board meetings required very limited seating. It is so much fun, we are going to continue this practice into the future. It is so great to see not only the surprise from the student winner, but the pride the teachers show and the genuine support from the students' classmates. The reactions are genuine. It is obvious how much our teachers care about and care for our students. It is also obvious that teachers modeling this caring is influencing our student bodies in a positive way.

    I am looking forward to... baseball. It will be chilly tonight, but it will be great to see our Gold and Black on the field at Victory Field this evening.

    LCSC will be honoring Dr. Servies as he throws out the ceremonial first pitch for tonight's game against Mooresville. We thank him for his tireless efforts through the Boone County Health Department during the pandemic. He continues to be an invaluable resource to Boone County schools.

    I am hopeful for... two more weeks to finish strong!

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  • Friday High 5: April 16

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 4/16/2021

    Song on Repeat this week... "When You're My Age" - Lori McKenna (feat. Hillary Lindsay)

    Quote I am thinking about... "You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler." -Denis Waitley

    Research I revisited... In the 1970s, Dr. John Goorman and his team conducted a study to determine if there was a predictable effect of positive affirmation verses criticism among relationships. The study was a longitudinal study. They provided couples a conflict to address and solve. They then measured the ratio of positive affirmations to criticisms or negative feedback.

    The results were astounding.

    Dr. Goorman's team was able to predict with approximately 90% accuracy whether the couple's relationship would end in divorce by the ratio of positive to negative interactions.

    The team found that the "magic" ratio was 5 positive affirmations for every 1 correction or criticism. The ratio of 3:1 was necessary to maintain the relationship at the current status. When the positive to negative ratio began to push to the 10 to 13 to 1 ratio, there was another negative effect (too many compliments become unbelievable and begins to erode the credibility of the person providing the compliment/affirmation).

    Examples of positive affirmation include:

    • Be interested
    • Express affection
    • Demonstrate they matter
    • Intentional appreciation (be specific)
    • Find opportunities for agreement
    • Empathize and apologize
    • Accept other's perspective
    • Make jokes (not sarcasm)

    Sometimes at the end of the school year, and especially a stress-filled year like this one, we can tilt our positive to negative ratio of our interactions with others in wrong direction. The pressure is on to cover standards, to get content delivered, and to finish strong. This pressure can affect our personal lives and interactions with our families and friends. When our personal relationships become strained, we bring that stress to the classroom or office.

    I am revisiting this research to remind myself of the importance of not only working for a 5:1 ratio in my professional life and personal life but also in my self-talk. We need to pour into ourselves as well as others.

    What is your ratio?

    I am thankful for ... Spring sports, concerts, and LHS Senior Events!

    I am hopeful for... The increasing number of vaccinations in our community, state, and country.

    I look forward to opportunities for our older students to begin vaccinations soon as more supply becomes available to communities around the state.

    I am proud of the work we are doing in LCSC and thankful for your efforts!

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  • Friday 5: March 19

    Posted by Jennifer Todderud on 3/19/2021

    Song on repeat this week... "Let It Grow" - Eric Clapton

    Quote I am thinking about... It is not a quote as much as a direction... Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success

    Pyramid

    In honor of March Madness, I always turn to some of my favorite John Wooden thoughts. Here is a TEDEd talk with the Wizard of Westwood. It is about 17 minutes long.

    I realize that is a long time in our Twitter and Instagram environment - 17 minutes is a pretty big investment. I submit to you that you are worth 17 minutes.

    You may or may not agree with every point of Mr. Wooden. I don't always agree with all of the words I read or hear. In my humble and personal opinion, I do think there is more to agree with in this clip than to disagree.

    What I love about this clip is that after all of the years of coaching, after all of the National Championships, Coach Wooden continues, time and time again to reference his experience as a teacher - all the way back to 1934. His description of teaching and parents, and students in 1934 rings eerily true for 2021. I hope you enjoy...

    Thought I am pondering... Many experiences this week have reminded me of why Rule #18 - "There are no independent decisions. All of them have consequences and everything is connected. "

    As Coach Wooden says "We must believe, truly believe, that things will work out as they should, providing we do what we should." 

    I am thankful for ... Our engaged Lebanon Community Schools School Board. They took the bold and public position this past week to oppose legislation that, if passed, will be contrary to the requirement of the laws of the state of Indiana to provide a "uniform system of schools." The LCSC School passed a resolution stating publicly their unwavering support for public schools. I thank them for their leadership.

    I am hopeful for... One more week, prior to Spring Break, of high quality teaching and learning. I encourage all of us to keep pushing. Some rest is on the horizon. Stay focused, stay strong, and have a great week next week.

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  • Reflection: A Year of COVID-19

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 3/12/2021

    Exactly one year ago today, we made the announcement that Lebanon Community School Corporation would close at 6 p.m. and implement virtual instruction in response to COVID-19. At the time of the announcement, we anticipated returning to our normal operations on Monday, April 6, 2020. 

    As we all know, that didn’t happen. We finished the rest of the school year virtually. Many events were canceled: the musical, prom, end-of-the-year celebrations. We held a delayed, but safe outdoor Commencement for the Class of 2020. And in August, we opened our doors again, albeit with a highly modified schedule. 

    Over the past several weeks, our community data has indicated a decline in spread of COVID-19. Our secondary students have returned to the building for daily in-person instruction. And this week, the Indiana State Department of Health announced that education employees could schedule COVID-19 vaccinations through the state testing program. We’ve been told that all adults will be eligible for a vaccination in May. While we’re not yet through the pandemic, the end is in sight.  

    I want to thank you for your patience, your perseverance, and your dedication over the past year. It has not been easy. As I reflect, I cannot help but feel immense pride for our staff, students, and community. We’re #TigersTogether. 

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  • High 5: March 5

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 3/5/2021

    Song on Repeat this Week.... "Change" - Charlie Puth (featuring James Taylor)

     

    Quote I am thinking about... "Take inventory of your obligations from time to time. How many of these are self-imposed? How many of them are truly necessary? Are you as free as you think?" - Ryan Holiday

    Thought I am pondering... I had the great pleasure of speaking to our boys basketball team on Monday evening prior to their first Sectional game. I shared something I found when re-reading a portion of the book Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski, coach of the Dukes Men's Basketball Team.

    He spoke about how hard it is to get a team to buy in, really buy in to the fact that when the tournament starts, the team's record is 0-0. Of course, all of the experiences and growth over the course of the season is important. It is that preparation that has built more physical strength and stamina, more mental acuity and focus, more understanding of each other, and more understanding of the game. But, at tournament time, it is the start of a new season. We are 0-0.

    Perhaps we could have practiced a little harder at certain points.

    Perhaps we let anger, jealously, or other issues divide our team and waste valuable time along the way.

    Perhaps we could have _____. Perhaps we should have______.

    But, we didn't.

    Now what?

    We start a new season, where we are, with what we have.

    It's a metaphor for life, both personal and professional.

    We should not dwell on the could have or should have moments. We are where we are. We have another chance, we are 0-0.

    I hope we remember that when we are self-assessing ourselves, and I hope we remember that when assessing a student or colleague. Can we start every day at 0-0? 

    I am thankful for ... our students.

    It was so rewarding and fun to travel to all six schools this week and honor our student P.R.I.D.E. Champions. The Champions were, of course, grateful and respectful in their acceptance of the awards. But, even more rewarding to me was the response of their classmates. In more than one classroom the Champion's peers spontaneously erupted into applause for their friend.

    It is hard to have bad day after an experience like that.

    I am hopeful for...continued positive COVID-19 data trends.

    There are continued concerns with our fight agains COVID-19 of course. I am so hopeful though that vaccines will continue to become available to more and more people. I am hopeful that our continued discipline in following guidelines, along with the improvements in treatment and numbers of vaccinations, will improve our condition and instill our confidence in a smart, steady, and lasting return to some form of normalcy.

    If we stay #tigerstogether, we will be able to return next year with 100% in-person instruction for 100% of our students. This has been and continues to be our expectation. 

    Thank you for a great week. I spent time in all schools this week and continue to be impressed with your efforts.

    Enjoy your weekend

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  • High 5: February 26

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 2/26/2021

    Song on Repeat this Week...."Heading Home" - Donavon Frankenreiter (Here's another cool version of it from his Live Abby Road Sessions...)

    I've listened to Donavon Frankenreiter's music for years.... His music is always a pick me up. He's one of our favorite artists on our "Lake Mix." Songs like "Glow", "Free", "It Don't Matter", and "Heading Home" have helped me through over the years. "Heading Home" is a fun little tune that reminds us to stay within ourselves and to stay true to ourselves... Here's the lyrics:

    Try to sell somethin' that just can't be bought
    Said it's the latest and the greatest but i know that it's not
    Be somebody you don't wanna be
    Didn't even exist last year but now it's what we need
    Oh no not me, oh no not meCuz i'm headin' home (2x)
    Try to tell them somethin' that should never be taught
    I guess it wont be great around here when they're born
    Once it's really gone then it's really gone for good
    Just because you can doesnt mean that you should

     Oh no not here, oh no not now
    Cuz i'm headin' home (2x)

    Go somewhere ya never gone
    Sing something that ya never sung
    Think about something that ya never thought
    And if you're gonna give, give everything you got

    Oh yeah right here, oh yeah right now
    I'm headin' home(4x)
    Oh yeah right here, oh yeah right now
    We're headin' home (4x)

    Source: Musixmatch
    Songwriters: Donavon Frankenreiter Heading Home lyrics © Swing On Down Publishing, Donavon Frankenreiter Dba Swing On Down Publishing 

    Quote I am thinking about... "You shouldn't give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don't care at all."  -Marcus Aurelius

    Thought I am pondering... I ran across this brief video from one on my Twitter follows. It reminds me of:

    1. Rule #4 - No one can motivate you or make you feel anything. The way you feel and what you think is your decision; and
    2. Rule #24 - You always take your own weather with you.

    I sent it to my son with the following message: "A little morning motivation. If I feel like complaining today, I am going to rewatch this."

    I am thankful for ...50 degree weather!

    I cannot overstate how uplifting it was to look out my office window this week and see PE students on the football field and track and field practicing outside.

    I am fighting for...Public Education.

    Last week we shared our response to the Governor's Next Level Teacher Compensation Report.

    This week, we have published a brief Executive Summary. Both documents can be found here.

    I encourage everyone to review the Executive Brief. It provides some quick talking points that are helpful when describing to non-educators the disparity in funding that is tilted in favor of private schools (with little to no accountability to the taxpayers) and public charter schools (often propped up through arrangements with for profit operators).

    Public schools are the backbone of our the communities we serve.

    While I support choice, I do not believe that a public service, being asked to serve the same percentage of students over time, should be defunded in order to provide it - especially when publicly funded private schools the schools Hoosier parents "choose" may reject enrollment to any student for any reason, or no reason at all. That is not my definition of choice.

    We published our position on our district social media: here on Facebook and here on Twitter.

    We encourage you to share help our community stay informed.

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  • High 5: February 19

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 2/19/2021

    Songs on Repeat this Week.... "Boats" - Kenny Chesney

    This has been on my playlist for a long time. It's a great song to relax to when floating on the water or at your favorite vacation spot. It's not only a song about how being on a boat takes you away from "reality," it's a song about self-care, about taking time to pause, for gratitude, and for yourself.

    Quote I am thinking about... During a meeting with administrators this week, I shared the following quote that I ran across on Twitter from Jason Walker, @LeadershipCures

    "The Great Leader: We felt happy when he entered, safe while he was here and sad when he left."

    I challenged our administrators to visualize someone when they read this quote. I think all of us can call up in our memory someone who embodies this quote.

    The exercise is a bit of educational neuroscience for ourselves. It's mindfulness. It's gratitude. I submit that it is impossible to read this quote, and think of someone who embodies this definition and not feel better.

    Thought I am pondering... I must admit, I am jealous. The author, thought leader and speaker Simon Sinek has a way of taking many of the thoughts, observations, and messages that I have swirling in my head and presenting them in bite sized, approachable, meaningful, and impactful ways.

    Our LCSC Administration has been embarking on a year-long study, working through the book "The Advantage" by Patrick Lencioni. Our goal: to uncover the core values that drive our work. And, to define our work in bite sized, approachable, meaningful, and impactful ways. We are excited over the coming months to share our discussions with all faculty and staff to help us continue to unify our efforts to support the emotional, physical, and academic needs of our students.

    In a brief video tweet, Simon Sinek takes on a critical need not only for our companies and business, but I would suggest in some ways for our actual survival as a society.

    In it, he "picks on" Generations Y and Z a little. Don't get lost in this. It is possible that Mr. Sinek is generalizing (perhaps too much) about the skills that these generations lack. Certainly, the lack of, and I believe the erosion of, the skills he talks about are not isolated to Generations Y and Z. I believe there has been a slow erosion over many decades.

    I once worked for a boss who lacked these skills. The boss (in his 60's - now probably 70's) avoided the communications Simon Sinek points out are so important. He would either:

    1. When making an unpopular decision, send me or another principal to deliver the news, or;
    2. Strong arm the team into making an unpopular decision, then if he actually did deliver the news personally, when the blowback came, would say, "well, that was Dr. Milleman's decision."

    This approach erodes trust. It is unhealthy. And, it is unsustainable.

    So, when viewing this brief 2 minute and 41 second clip, don't get lost in who is to blame for the state of affairs. Don't worry about whose fault it is. Don’t worry about which generation is better or worse at it.

    Focus on the skills he lists:

    1. Listening
    2. Effective Communication
    3. How to give and receive feedback
    4. How to have difficult conversations
    5. And I will add to his list....empathy.

    These are not just important skills for the success of an organization - they are survival skills. Without these skills, even the most profitable companies are miserable places to work.

    What are we doing to grow these skills, in ourselves, in others, and in our students?

    These are the skills that are foundational for relationships. It's not about being our students' friend, or knowing every detail of our students' lives. It is engaging with them on a mature level (even our youngest students) in a way that says "I trust you to be able to listen, communicate effectively, give and receive feedback, and have difficult conversations." And, if you can't yet - I'll show you.

    A team that has these skills embedded in its culture is - unstoppable. 

    I am thankful for ...firsts.

    In going through some old photos recently and I ran across a couple of my "firsts"

    My first guitar (check out the rockin' 1970's patterned shirt!)

    We didn't have an XBox, or internet, or cell phones, or any of that stuff. I love this memory. I spent my time riding my 1970 Z50A Honda MiniTrail, throwing a rubber baseball against a barn door, fishing, hunting, or playing my guitar.

    guitar picture

    My first car.... A 1973 Luxury LeMans... vinyl seats, retread tires. I paid $1500 for her with money from the auction money I raised when selling my 4-H pigs, and money from working on the school farm and bailing hay from local farmers. I can remember crawling under the dashboard and into the trunk to install the Kenwood stereo and 6x9 speakers.. oh, and the added 8 Track player that I bolted underneath the glovebox.

    first car

    If you want to make your heart smile, I suggest going through a box of old pictures this weekend.

    I sure am glad I did. 

    I am concerned about... All public educators.

    This was not a good week for public education in the state of Indiana.

    In this Friday Five, we have included a lot of information about school funding - including our district's response to the state Teacher Pay Commission Report. It is lengthy - that is because:

    1. The recommendations are lengthy and;
    2. School funding and staff pay is are complex issues.

    We have to study it - all of us. We have to know what has happened and what is happening. Be informed. Ask questions. Ask me questions.

    I will continue to advocate for public education, for the public good that we provide, for the value we bring to our communities, and the students that only the public schools serve.

    I love what I do. I do. I still do. It is a noble cause, public education. I am proud to be in this journey with you.

    If we stick together, we will be ok.

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  • High 5: February 12

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 2/12/2021

    Song on repeat this week…. Be Kind To Yourself” – Andrew Peterson

    I am thankful for….Three day weekends.

    I know we can all use a little break about now. Enjoy your three day weekend.

    While enjoying the day on Monday, I challenge us to reflect on the holiday we use to honor past Presidents.

    I am well aware that there are mixed emotions regarding this holiday – The presidency is a branch of our system of government after all. And with government and governing comes opinions, personal beliefs, and statements, speeches, and decisions that make up our country’s official record. Governing is a human endeavor. Humans are – well, human. Flawed and imperfect. Seems like a good reason to have a system of checks and balances.

    Presidents Day, for me, is about more than one or two former Presidents. It is about the institution. It is about our system of government. It is a time to be thankful for Presidents who challenged us to be better as a country than we thought we could be, who shined a light on the good, and yes, who shined a light on the bad. We are all human too.

    Quotes I am pondering…

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire

    “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

    I am melancholy about… the passing of Chick Corea.

    I was so fortunate in middle school and high school that my band director, Bill Stultz, exposed us to incredible music and musicians. I can remember travelling to live concerts of Buddy Rich and Maynard Ferguson. We would sit around his office for hours listening to jazz greats like Bill Watrous, Stan Kenton, and ... Chick Corea. There are a few musicians in every genre who are transformative. Their music is timeless. They combine technique with emotion and there’s just “something” about their music that keeps you present. Chick Corea is one of those giants of jazz.

    His discography is on Spotify. If you get a moment, click on a couple of his pieces this weekend. You won’t regret it.

    I am concerned about…Snow.

    We are potentially in the path of big snow event beginning Monday afternoon and evening.  Weather models are confident that a large amount of snowfall will occur. Since it is about 90 hours away, the weather experts have less confidence, at the time I am writing this message, of the direction and distance of the storm’s path.

    Stay alert. Be prepared. Stay safe!

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  • High 5: February 5

    Posted by Dr. Jon Milleman on 2/5/2021

    Song on Repeat this Week.... "The Longer I Run" - Peter Bradley Adams 

    Quote I am thinking about... "We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out." - Theodore Roosevelt

    Thought I am pondering... Rule #4 from my 25 Rules and Observations of Life

    "No one can motivate you or make you feel anything. The way you feel and what you think is your decision."

    Two passages I read this week brought this home. In one, Brian Trace in the book Eat That Frog said he had fallen into the mental trap of assuming that people who are doing better than him were actually better than him. What he (thankfully) learning was that this was not necessarily true. They were just doing things differently, and what they had learned to do, within reason, he could learn as well.

    In another, from Ryan Holiday's The Daily Stoic he shares the tremendous quote from Epictetus: "Who then is invincible? The one who can not be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice."

    I am thankful for and excited about... Stakeholder meetings that we are beginning next week to discuss future capital planning and school funding goals for LCSC. Our communications efforts in launching these stakeholder meetings was put on hold due to COVID-19 but we are beginning to engage our community in this important work. We have a great story to tell in LCSC and I am excited to share it with others. 

    I am concerned about... Cold weather. 

    The midwest is bracing for a shot of cold air over the next several days. Temperatures and wind chills may dip dangerously low. We have no way of knowing exactly how cold it will be or of predicting how the temps will affect our school operations. We will communicate as soon as we can based on our confidence in forecasts and current conditions.

    Make sure you are planning ahead and planning to add some more time in the mornings to travel to school. This weekend would be a good time to check your car battery.

    As a reminder, we have a description of our process for determining delays and cancellations on our website.

    Bundle Up!

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