The Circle of Life

A few weeks ago I was in NY City with my middle daughter. As part of our daddy/daughter day we went to the Lion King on Broadway. I’m sure you know the story but a young lion is born, grows up and eventually replaces his father as the King of the Jungle. The climax is the song at the end “The Circle of Life.”

This morning I had my own little Worthington Schools “circle of life” moment. In 1986 I was an eighth grade student at McCord Middle School. This was the first year McCord was open in Worthington. I had teachers such as Janet Lanka and Tim Dove. After graduating from Worthington and finishing college I taught fifth and sixth grade for four years. In my fifth year, 1999, I returned to McCord Middle School as the Dean of Students. This was my first administrative role and I was primarily in charge of student discipline. In this role I again worked with Janet Lanka and Tim Dove, but now as a peer. At McCord, among my other duties, was to coach the McCord Middle School football team.

One of the young athletes I had the privilege to coach at McCord in both 7th and 8th grade football was Colt Cunningham. Colt was an aggressive athlete and even at his young age you sensed he would grow into a talented young man. Yesterday morning at our July 9th Board of Education meeting we hired Colt Cunningham as a teacher in Worthington. Colt has several years teaching experience in Physical Education and Health but chose today to come back home to Worthington.

Colt is not the only student I worked with at McCord to return to Worthington as a teacher. Natalie Pardi at Brookside and Meghan Moore at Wilson Hill were both classmates of Colt’s. For me it completes a new circle: Student in Worthington, Peer to my former teachers, and now peer to my former students. (Obviously it also means I am getting old.)

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