When I arrived to work earlier this week there was a framed picture on my desk along with a note. The note simply said, “wishing you a wonderful school year.” The framed picture was of myself giving a hug and a kiss to my friend and mentor, Debbie Mancus, at her retirement party last June. Debbie was one of 40 plus Worthington educators to retire this past school year. For a variety of reasons this is a trend that is expected to continue for the next few years in Worthington.
Debbie and I worked closely together at McCord Middle School from 1999-2001. Debbie was the guidance counselor at McCord and I was the Dean of Students. When I left McCord to become a school principal in Marysville we kept in contact. Over the years we have not always seen eye-to-eye on all things but we have remained friends and it’s strange to begin a school year in Worthington without her. It’s my belief that Debbie’s long-term impact on students in Worthington will be felt for generations.
This year at McCord we have a new counselor in Debbie’s place. Lauren Galantowicz was hired to replace Debbie, and is one of a growing trend of new teachers and counselors in Worthington. (The Columbus Dispatch wrote about new teachers in the August 22 newspaper.) I have only interacted with Lauren for a short while but she seems to be very talented and to posses a maturity beyond her years. Her fresh perspective and ability to interact with students and parents will be welcome at McCord. Certainly, Lauren like all our new staff, has HUGE shoes to fill. She knows it, but we believe she can handle it.
They say that time waits for no man. Change is inevitable. I’m happy for Debbie (that she was able to retire on her own terms) and I’m happy that Lauren chose to come work in Worthington. (She’s ubber talented and had plenty of other options.) This year there are 56 new Worthington staff members who have all begun their journey for real this week. Together we will need to support them and help them grow into their jobs. Over time they will need to push us to think differently and to change when necessary. It’s fun to see the talented new staff, but sad to see old friends move on.
Time and change will surely show, how firm thy friendship….