300 Subscribers. I Owe Somebody an Apology.

Sad really.

The PrincipalsPage.com Blog now has over 300 email subscribers.

This means each time I post a half-thought out incoherent barely readable blog, over three hundred people receive it in their inboxes.

My assumption is 296 of them can’t hit delete fast enough.

And I’m okay with that.

When I got my first subscriber (back in the late 1960’s), I was moved to tears (not really, I’m a school administrator … we have no feelings because we are pretty much dead inside).

When the number reached 100, I assumed a rather large group of total strangers secretly got together to pull a cruel (and quite funny) practical joke on me.

At 200, I figured most of my readers were spammers and/or prison inmates (Shout Out to Cell Block 17!!!).

Now at 300, I’m starting to feel a sense of regret.Thanks.

I feel like I should apologize.

Apologize for wasting everybody’s time.

Way too many people read this blog (18,315 unique visitors last month… not that I’m counting).

How many precious hours have been wasted by superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, tech people, and prisoners reading this junk?

It’s quite obvious (to me at least) that I have nothing intelligent to say.

The Evil Spawn is evil.

Buddy the Dog is lazy.

I’m not fit to be married, raise a child, run a school, or own a pet.

Old people don’t like change.

Schools need to implement more technology.

We get it.

Enough already.

Shouldn’t people have something better to do with their time than read this drivel?

Shouldn’t they be working to make education better for kids?

Shouldn’t they be selling illegal contraband to inmates in the next cell?

It’s quite possible I’m making the world a worse place in which to live because my followers are not being productive when they read this blog.

So if you are a subscriber or a visitor, thank you.

And I’m sorry.

I promise to stop.

If you promise to stop reading and get back to work.

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You Have Email. I Have a Blog. Let’s Work Together.

Don't Listen to Buddy.  This Blog Isn't That Terrible.Would you like to receive the PrincipalsPage.com Blog via email?

It’s easy.

Just sign up (next to my cartoon wife’s right elbow) to receive notifications when new blog entries are posted.

That’s it.

It’s so easy, Buddy the Dog could do it.

And he doesn’t have thumbs.

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School Lunches: What Are We Doing to Our Kids?

food revolution


This blog carries many burdens. 

The main one is I can’t leave my house without NOT being recognized.

Thankfully, I’m getting used to this awkward and uncomfortable feeling (for the last time people… I look just like the cartoon… it’s just not that complicated).

Another is I constantly receive emails from people who want me to promote their products.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I will NOT schlep for your company.

I hope that’s clear enough.

No exceptions.

Unless you send me free stuff.

I have standards (I wear XL t-shirts in case you were wondering… and as it turns out, my standards are actually relatively low).

I just don’t feel comfortable capitalizing on the PrincipalsPage.com name (again, XL… and I’m still looking for a book and a movie deal… I have my fingers crossed that I will be played by one of the greatest actors of our generation, Mr. Morgan Freeman).

Until I get my big break (i.e. paid), I will continue passing on educationally related items that I believe will benefit the readers of this blog (and more importantly, students).

Today (or whenever you read this…), I want to share a new TV series about the food served by schools. 

It’s Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

Sounds boring, but it isn’t.

Once you start watching, it’s hard to look away.

It’s like a car wreck.

If you watch just one TV series about lunch ladies… this is it.

His website describes the series (much better than I could) as being about how families eat, what kids get at school and why the diet of processed food and snacks is causing so many health and obesity problems.

The series was filmed in Huntington, West Virginia.

Jamie’s challenge was to see if he could get a whole community cooking again.

He worked with the school lunch ladies and local families to get everyone back in the kitchen and making tasty meals with fresh ingredients – no packets, no cheating. He’s started a Food Revolution: to get people all over America to reconnect with their food and change the way they eat.

Please take a few minutes and watch episodes 1 – 3 (you can watch the entire series on Hulu.com… which is free TV on the internet… welcome to 2010).

If you agree with the concept (and you will… unless you hate small children) click on the Food Revolution Badge and sign the petition in support of healthier school lunches.


Mr. Oliver hopes to collect enough signatures so the White House will allow him to deliver the petition to President Obama.

If enough people sign in support, he just might get the right people to listen.

Like the First Lady Michelle Obama.

And if she’s happy, everyone’s happy (at least that’s how it works at my house).

Enjoy (and prepare yourself to be shocked and disgusted) the first three episodes (and don’t forget to watch the rest on ABC or Hulu.com).


Episode #1


Episode #2


Episode #3

I was kidding about Morgan Freeman playing me in a movie… he’s way too tall.

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Buy a Book. Or 4.

Up to this point in my blog/website career, I have turned down request after request to hawk educational items on this blog.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not being a martyr.  I just haven’t been offered enough money.

I’m easy.  I’m just not cheap.

I guess I did sell out that one time when I got a sweet sweet shirt.Every Administrator Needs to Read This Book.

Since then, my tastes have gotten more expensive.

It amazes me how many people want to jump on the runaway train of success that is PrincipalsPage.com (millions and millions… or at least a couple).

Before I completely make a money grab (and mark my word, I will… one day this will be the Tostitos PrincipalsPage or maybe the Doritos PrincipalsPage – I smell a bidding war!), I wanted to do something positive for my readers.

I want to recommend 4 books that I think can make the lives of educators better and more importantly help students.

You will find all 4 under the Book Tab.

They are:  Finding Middle Ground in K-12 Education, The Perfect School, Teachers Change Lives 24/7, and What Every Superintendent and Principal Needs to Know.  All are written or co-written by Mr. Jim Burgett.

He is president of The Burgett Group and an educator who has been recognized nationally for his ability to lead, motivate, inspire, and teach. Jim has received dozens of awards for his teaching, his ability as an administrator, and his service to many professional organizations. He was twice named the administrator of the year in Illinois. Jim has been a popular speaker and presenter for over twenty years.

I know this because I copy and pasted the last paragraph from his website.

My goal when I started PrincipalsPage was to help (in a very small way) other administrators, especially those brand new to the profession.

These books will do just that.

How do I know.

I’ve read them.

And before you can email or tweet me, yes I can read.

Not well, but good enough to become a school administrator (teachers are laughing at this joke… laughing hard… laughing a little too hard if you ask me).

You will not be disappointed.  In fact, I’m so sure of this fact that I could offer a money back guarantee.

I’m not going to, but I could.

If you are interested, click on the Book Tab next to my cartoon wife.

Then you have two choices: order with same day shipping or download the book immediately.

I love technology.

And you will love these books.

Addition from the Publisher: We will offer a money-back guarantee on the printed book! Just mail it back to the address on the package within 30 days and we’ll give you the book cost back on your credit card.

I told you the were great books.

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Oprah and Snow Shovels.

I spent the last few days in Chicago at an education conference.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is as soon as I arrived (late by the way… thanks Amtrak), I turned on the TV just in time to hear that Oprah Winfrey is leaving town.I Could Also Use This Snow Shovel to Smack People.

Evidently, Chicago isn’t big enough for the both of us.

I know I shouldn’t take this personally, but this hurts.  I’ve always felt like Oprah and I got along fairly well.

Sure, we had our disagreements about Gayle (Oprah loves her… I find her annoying) but for the most part we saw eye to eye.

I should admit that Dr. Phil strikes me as a little odd, but who am I to judge.  Good enough for Oprah, good enough for me.  Even though he seems like the creepy uncle your parents told you to avoid at family reunions.

But now she is leaving the Windy City.

Off to make her fame and fortune in Los Angeles.

Wait a second.  Doesn’t she already have fame and a little bit of fortune (by a little… I mean she bleeds gold bullion).

Why does she need her own television network?

More importantly, why is she starting her own television network.

She is worth about 8,000 billion dollars (when the market is down), so why doesn’t she just buy one of the crappy 700 channels I get (and don’t watch).

Then all she would have to do is move it to Chicago and rename it Oprah Land, OTV, or Oprah Classic (I would be very nervous TV Land, HGTV, and ESPN Classic… very nervous indeed).

But no, she has to wait until I arrive in Chicago to announce she is getting out.

To the uninformed, it looks like I drove her out.

That hurts Oprah.  That really hurts.

I have to admit that while the conference was excellent, Oprah’s little announcement put a damper on the whole weekend.

I found myself getting angry as I walked the streets of Chicago.

Then I realized I wasn’t upset with Oprah.  She has her life.  I have mine.

Even though we don’t always agree, I think it’s important that we continue to support each other (after all… we both do it for the kids…).

Who am I to say that she shouldn’t move for a job.  Tough times mean tough decisions.  Like all of us, poor Oprah has bills to pay (by poor… I don’t mean poor).

My anger was actually coming from the fact that people don’t know how to walk down the street.

Where has common courtesy gone?

Large groups of idiots would stop directly in the middle of a sidewalk.  Right smack in the middle of a pedestrian walkway on Michigan Avenue.

Why did they stop?  Who knows.  I’m guessing inbreeding, but don’t quote me on that.

I’ve had it with people who seem oblivious to the rest of society and what is going on around them.

So I’m here to ask for your permission…the permission of well-educated, hard-working PrincipalsPage.com readers.

I need permission to carry a large snow shovel around  so I can smack people in the face when they become a bother to the rest of us (mostly when they bug me… if they bother you it doesn’t really effect me).

No questions asked.  No legal liability.  No second-guessing.

Just me, smacking people upside the head to make the world a better place (not my idea… I have to give credit to Mr. Tony on my favorite podcasted radio show).

I’m going to start with people who stop short on busy sidewalks.

In the future, the snow shovel may come into play with people who text while driving, anyone who honks .05 seconds after a stoplight turns green, smokers, loud talkers in movie theaters, people who burn leaves when their city prohibits it, and weathermen.

I’m also going to need permission to add to my list as I see fit.

Thank you for listening.

If you need me I will be in the garage looking for my snow shovel and wondering how my relationship went so wrong, so quickly with Oprah.

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I’m Not Sure I Want to Work for a Magazine That Will Hire Me.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been writing more blogs about a subject that makes my skin crawl.


I feel sick just thinking about it (I was going to say I just threw up in my mouth… but that’s just gross and has no place in a family friendly blog).

People (high-powered, very influential corporate types that I’m not at liberty to name… mainly because they are neither high-powered nor influential) tell me that I need to reap some benefits from my work here at PrincipalsPage.com.

Under their extremely complicated marketing plan, I need to turn the tremendous amount of traffic this Blog doesn’t have into name recognition.

Step 2 is to take this name recognition and cash it in (I must admit, I do like cash… and free t-shirts… hint, hint…).

To accomplish this, I have to self-promote. This involves writing blogs about my experiences as I travel, speak, or get interviewed.

This marketing strategy brings up a couple of questions.Converge Magazine Headquarters????

One, instead of name recognition wouldn’t a nap be more fulfilling?

And two… actually I don’t have a second question.

Frankly, I am too tired to come up with anything which means I could really use a nap.

Writing the Blog has become strange to me. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel like I’m an employee of the Blog.

A caretaker if you will.

Which is why I go out of my way not to anger the Blog.

I need this writing gig… actually I don’t. Especially since the income it provides me is somewhere between Jack and Squat.

Then it happened.

I started writing (as always the thought of me “writing” cracks me up and embarrasses every English teacher I ever had) for the suits at Converge Magazine.

Technically it’s not the actual magazine but their website (I’m at the card table at the Converge Family Thanksgiving dinner).

A few months ago I sent a nasty hate filled email to the suits at Converge demanding they address my contract situation.

I envision the suits sitting in their corner offices in big leather chairs smoking cigars as they decide the future of the magazine and the peons who blog for them.

For some reason, I think they all have mustaches.

And drive Corvettes.

And wear thick gold chains from the 70’s.

But who knows since I have been banned from the Converge Campus (you see, I also daydream they have a big glass building that sits high upon a hill on 15-acres where they can look down and crush all the little people… or maybe I just had too much pepperoni pizza for dinner last night…).

Back to my mean spirited email.

Which if I’m being honest, I forgot I sent.

And it wasn’t actually angry or mean-spirited.

It was really more of an off-handed smart aleck comment (go figure). I didn’t give it a second thought after I sent it.

Low and behold, the suits put their cigars down just long enough to get back to me.

Much to my surprise, they have offered to pay an insane amount for my weekly blogs.

Through a series of highly dramatic emails, we negotiated a salary that is much higher than I could have ever imagined (technically two emails… they offered… and I accepted).

They are now paying me 10 times what they were (since I was getting $0, you can do the math).

While getting paid is nice, it has occurred to me this opens up a whole new set of problems.

I now get paid to write (or whatever you call it).

I’m in the same profession as John Grisham, Stephen King and J.K. Rowling (except they write books… and sell them… and have a little thing I like to call talent… other than that, we are exactly the same).

While the cash is nice (didn’t they know they could have had me with a free t-shirt?) it does bring added pressure.

Being a “highly” paid blogger is bound to be stressful.

What if the suits start demanding quality instead of just quantity?

What if they proofread what I write (?) before they post it on their website?

What if they fire me when they discover I’m a no-talent sham?

Actually, what do I care?

If they fire me, I can write a blog ripping the out-of-touch suits and their crazy decision making.

I will certainly have a good case.

After all, they did hire me. So how good can is their judgment…really?

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5 Things I Haven’t Done (and Everyone Else Has).

This Makes My Belly Hurt.1. Drank a cup of coffee.

2. Seen a Star Wars, Star Trek, or Harry Potter movie.

3. Ridden a roller coaster.

4. Owned a pair of sandals.

5. Eaten a Big Mac.

List inspired by (stolen from) the Mike and Mike ESPN Radio Show.

Add your own list under comments… or create a list on your blog. Please leave the link in the comment section so the PrincipalsPage.com readers can take a look.

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What’s Going On at The School Administrator Magazine?

Click to Visit the AASA Website.

Just when you thought the world couldn’t get any more mixed-up.

In fact, you may want to glance out your window and make sure it’s not raining cats and dogs (you can rest assured, Buddy the Dog won’t be involved… because that would require a little thing I like to call “effort”…)

My friends at The School Administrator have once again allowed PrincipalsPage.com into their magazine (this completes the PrincipalsPage Trilogy… first 2 times… the April and August 2008 editions… and yet, they have allowed me back).

This time I’m not just in the magazine once. There are 3 seperate mentions in the August 2009 edition.

The cover article (not about me… but one day… mark my word) written by Dr. Mark J. Stock of the University of Wyoming talks about the importance of Superintendents blogging.

He seems to have this crazy idea that a blog can be used as some sort of effective communication tool (maybe, but not here).

He mentions the PrincipalsPage.com Blog (appearance #1) and later lists it again under a section titled “Superintendents’ Blogs Worth Checking” (appearance #2).

At this point, even I was thinking… “What’s this guy doing to his career?”

On top of this, the August edition of The School Administrator also runs a Guest Column that I wrote… “Wrought With Danger: Being a Superintendent is Scary.” (appearance #3, for those of you counting at home).

That’s right.

Not one, not two, but…

…three PrincipalsPage.com Blog references in one magazine.

It’s a new record.

Actually it smashes the old record of one (which I was thrilled with by the way).

I know what you’re thinking. I should enjoy this while it lasts because records are made to be broken.

Sure, right about now there is some snot-nosed young blogger typing away (no doubt in his mother’s basement) in the hopes of getting 4 mentions of their blog in one magazine.

It may happen, but I can assure you I’m not going away quietly.

So until that blog punk wrestles this “record” away from cold dead hands, I think I should take a moment to reflect on what has just happened.

This experience has made 2 things painfully obvious to me.

One, I owe everyone at The School Administrator and Dr. Mark J. Stock a big thank you.

So, thank you.

Secondly, I have a bad feeling that the circulation numbers of The School Administrator may go way down after people read the August edition.

If so, I’m sorry.

If I’m wrong (which happens each day like clockwork) and readership goes up… I will be anticipating the 4 mentions of PrincipalsPage.com in the October magazine.

All joking aside, it is quite an honor to be in the magazine and it’s greatly appreciated. Here is the online link to the articles… The School Administrator.

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I Hope You Voted.

Most readers (which now number in the almost a lot) of the PrincipalsPage.com Blog seem to work in or around education.

As educators (or in the vicinity of education), I think we have a responsibility to vote. I could make the case that we have the right not to vote, but this election was too important to sit on the sidelines and watch.

History was being made and we had the opportunity to be a small part of it.Vote.  It's a Privilege.

If you are a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent… I hope you voted.

Now, time will tell if we made the right choice.

And if we didn’t, we will have the chance to vote again in 2012.

This is a great country.

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School Administrators Joke #1: How Coaches Become Principals.

This is a brand new feature on PrincipalsPage.com.

Jokes about us.

We can’t take ourselves too seriously…You Make a Horse Laugh and You've Done Something.

because we have to realize, they (and by they, I mean everyone… remember a little paranoia keeps you sharp and on your toes) are not laughing with us, but at us.

I came up with this feature just moments ago as I sprinted (I mean ran… I mean jogged… actually, to be honest it is more of a walk/shuffle) through my daily (sometimes daily, often it is more of a few times a week) exercise program.

A few days ago, someone (a.k.a. @tjshay via twitter) sent my wife this joke about principals. I had heard it before, but had forgotten it (because I am so busy, I can’t remember everything… or possibly I am just old and forgetful).

The joke.

“Qualifications to be a Principal. A Master’s Degree and two consecutive losing seasons.”

Makes me smile every time I think about it.

Probably because in so many cases it is true. Let it be noted…my last season of coaching resulted in the kids having a winning season (I say kids because it was all them… very little of me).

I like to think I have a great sense of timing. Get out right before things go bad. Don’t overstay your coaching welcome. Leave on a winning note. Let the next coach deal with the rebuilding.

So that is what I did. I saw the writing on the wall. I got out. The very next season the kids had a record of 24 and 5.

I have said it before, but it deserves repeating. I am an idiot.

As usual, the joke was on me.

True story: I met a gentleman from Texas who got “promoted” to high school principal after having 2 losing seasons in a row as head football coach. The “promotion” came with a $7,000 pay cut.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.