So often we turn on our TVs/Radios/Computers and hear a barrage of terrible news. In fact, there is so much bad news out there it is hard to remember all of the good that people do each and everyday. As servant leaders, it is important to take the time to nourish our souls and know that we are not alone in our attempts to do good and serve others. With this in mind, I’ll share a news story that I heard the other day.*
A high school boy had endured a traumatic incident and had missed enough school that he almost wasn’t able to graduate due to absences. So, he worked hard and made up those days until he was able to walk across the stage with all of his fellow classmates. But, on the day of his graduation ceremony- when the boy and his family arrived for the festivities- they realized that the event had ended. The boy had the wrong start time and, as a result, missed his graduation after all. Needless to say the boy and his family were devastated.
The principal noticed the boy and his family and decided that this was his chance to make a difference. The school was aware of everything that the boy and his family had been through and wanted to celebrate the big accomplishment the boy had made by completing his degree. So the principal and other participating teachers decided to give the boy a second chance.
The principal and teachers went back to the auditorium and set up the stage. The boy’s family sat and watched as the principal called the boy’s name and he had the chance to walk across the stage and receive his diploma. The family cried tears of happiness as their son shook the hands of the teachers and administration standing on the stage. The principal and teachers at that high school made this boy’s dream a reality with an extra 15 minutes of their time.
I love this. In fact, I would say that this story exemplifies educators making a difference in the lives of their students. This is an example of leadership walking the talk. This principal easily could have dismissed the student as late and unable to follow directions. Instead, he took a little bit of time to show how important he believed the student’s accomplishment was. This is special. This is servant leadership.
By Kristen Keyes
* I wish that I had more specific details or a link to the actual news story I watched on CNN, but for some reason it’s nowhere to be found on their website or online. A sad commentary for our propensity to allow bad news to be sensationalized, with good news having a one minute blip on the 6am newsfeed. If anyone knows the story I am talking about, please feel free to post a link!