Essay: I am called to serve

An essay. A broadcast letter. An answer to a call.

Portsmouth, Virginia

November 1st, 2007 11:08 am

I am called to serve on the faculty of a small, independent, secondary school. While my call has not come to me from a burning bush, it is clear, firm, and loud. This call demands I put my skills and talents in contribution to a school community. I bring a strong talent teaching the humanities and social sciences, a strong skill set in conflict resolution, and a gift for working with diverse people.

I seek a school which is small, so that relationships thrive, no one is lost, and everyone makes an impact. I seek a school with a progressive educational program or a strong boarding program; learning cannot be confined to mere days: student growth and learning happens not just in the classroom, but in those unexpected places a boarding school provides. I seek a school which knows and honors its mission and values with all stakeholders firmly moving in the same direction.

While it is likely still too early for any headmaster to know what holes will need to be filled for next academic year, it's not too early to explore how I might fit on a school's faculty team. I'm game for a wide variety of job responsibilities: I am, like most independent school professionals, a jack-of-many-trades. Frankly, where I land next year is more important than what my responsibilities will be; I'd be comfortable across a wide spectrum of roles and responsibilities.

For the last decade, I have served as an organizational performance consultant, advising senior leaders in the Coast Guard on leadership and management issues; I create sustaining systems and processes to address leadership, planning, process, and human resource challenges. I also serve as a counselor and mediator in the agency's civil rights & equal employment programs.

Before coming to the Coast Guard as a civil servant, I taught English, history, and theatre at Wyoming Seminary; I coached lacrosse, served as the technical director of the performing arts center, and directed full-length plays. I lived in the dorm, serving as the lead faculty in the upper class boys' dormitory, and I advised several co-curricular activities.

I have earned a bachelor's degree in English and two master's degrees (one in counseling & human development and the other in national security & strategic studies). I have finished all but the dissertation for a doctorate in organizational leadership & conflict resolution; I anticipate receiving that degree in 2008.

What would I bring to a small, independent, secondary school? I bring a love of teaching, a sense of duty & honor, and a diverse background providing me the ability to fill a number of roles; the ideal responsibilities would mix a few from the following list:
  • Faculty: English & the humanities, history & the social sciences, theatre & drama, and technology
  • Administration: alumni relations, institutional development, and admissions
  • School leadership: curriculum and faculty development
  • Student life & leadership: personal counseling, college counseling, leadership development, residential life, student development, student activities, student discipline, and co-curricular activity advising
  • Athletics: lacrosse and/or cross country
If you are the head of a small, independent, secondary school, and you'd be interested in talking further about the possibility of my joining the faculty and contributing to the life of your school, please get in touch with me.

And, for all you gentle readers, I hope you have had the chance this autumn to enjoy the change of colors. May we all never be too busy to meditate on the wonders of the world.
Comments