The New Mexico School Superintendents Association is an organization consisting of the eighty-nine (89) public school district superintendents throughout the state of New Mexico. The association is part of a larger organization, the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders.
The purpose of the New Mexico School Superintendents Association is to provide leadership and support to its members in order to effectively promote exemplary educational opportunities for all New Mexico students.
Recently, the annual NMCEL Summer Leadership Conference was held and many of us engaged in valuable experiences as we met, collaborated, and networked with our colleagues and friends. The theme for the conference was Meeting The Challenge While Lighting The Future! I began to ponder over that theme, and it seems obvious to me, but don’t we always “Meet The Challenge”? Budget, COVID, homeless students, student success, personnel matters, parental concerns, Board relations… on and on it goes. As educational leaders, we are consistently “Meeting The Challenges” placed before us.
So, I decided to focus on the second part of the theme. “While Lighting The Future!” Wow, what an awesome opportunity! According to the dictionary definition of lighting, we can either illuminate or ignite. Illuminate, in my view, is to bring light to a dark situation. Each of us can flip a switch and have light but it only takes one person to flip a switch. While adding light is always good, even God said “let there be light” I propose there is a greater opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of our families, students, staff, and colleagues if we ignite rather than illuminate.
We can “Light The Future” by igniting people into action! When we ignite the interest of our stakeholders, the sky is the limit! What would happen in our districts if we could figure out how to ignite families, students, and staff into better attendance, earning a diploma and graduating, academic growth, or simply how to be a better human? How does it look in your district if everyone is ignited towards a common goal? I would challenge you to think about the group behavioral change that would happen if your folks were ignited for change. You could simply flip a switch and provide them with light but how many more could they influence if ignition was the standard instead of illumination?
I am looking forward to serving NMSSA in the coming year and I trust that the NMCEL and NMSSA focus areas of Government Relations, Communications, and Professional Development will help you to illuminate and ignite as you are preparing for “Meeting The Challenge While Lighting The Future!”