The Feedback Loop

As a Worthington resident I often receive feedback on our school performance in unusual places.  Or maybe they are the usual places.  There is one place I am guaranteed to receive unfiltered feedback on a variety of issues.  The Old Village Barbershop, 669 N. High Street in Worthington.  Tom and Jim Checkler’s place.

The Old Village Barbershop is a man’s barbershop.  I’ve been getting my haircut there on and off for 20 years. It is covered with sports memorabilia, and men come for a haircut, others come to just sit and talk.   There is always talk.  Lots and lots of talk.  Some of the talk is about sports, some of the talk about politics.  Often the talk is about the local schools.  Several years ago Tom and I came to an agreement.  School talk was allowed while I was there and it was to be unfiltered.  People did not need to know that I was an administrator in the school district.  Let them have their say and I’ll listen and respond as necessary.  This is great feedback on how we’re serving the public, how we’re communicating, and often, how we can improve.  Sometimes the feedback is brutally honest.  On more than one occasion I have handed someone my business card and promised to fix their issue.  On other occasions I have had to bite my tongue.

I got my haircut yesterday afternoon and the talk in the barbershop was on our upcoming operating levy and bond issue.  As always feelings in the shop were mixed and there was a lot of inaccurate information going around.  Never the less, the feedback in the shop was that our community wants to support our schools.  They expect that we will be good stewards of their tax dollars and that their money will yield a strong return with the students of Worthington.  This is an informal feedback loop, but one I believe is very valuable.

Our school district is still soliciting formal feedback on our upcoming operating levy and bond issue.  If you would like to provide formal feedback please do so asap here:

If informal feedback is more your style, or you need a solid haircut that’s worth the cost in entertainment value, visit the Village Barbers.  Tell them Trent sent you.  I may see you there.

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