About 5 years ago today, I was evacuated to Memphis with my wife, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and my mother in law. We were being housed by some very good friends whom I met while teaching in Memphis during the early 1990’s. My wife was expected our first child (she was actually born on Sept. 24th – in Memphis).
Also at the time, I was an Assistant Principal at a Metro New Orleans private school. After the storm hit and we realized that nobody was going to return anytime soon, I decided to try to establish some communication with our scattered faculty and families. I began spending hours on a computer, starting message threads on various news sites and blogs. Soon, I had found almost the entire faculty and many families. I used this link to keep people in the loop, as much as I could, and to try to calm fears. I also went to a few Memphis area school that had taken in New Orleans families and just spent some time talking to them and providing some comfort.
This time was one of great tragedy and heartache. It was also a time for great character and bravery. I am especially proud an appreciative of the many educators who worked tirelessly to get their school back in order and who also opened their doors after the storm to so many displaced students.
This was certainly a moment that changed my outlook on educational leadership forever – not to mention becoming a father for the first time!