Tomorrow is coming quickly…it will be my last day of teaching school at Averill High School @ Good Will-Hinckley.  I can safely say where I work now without fear of repercussions for anything I say in my blog, not that I worried very much about it to begin with.  But I believe that shouldn’t matter, due to proper diligence on my part of remaining positive and professional in my blogs and using common sense about what I am writing.I plan to continue that pattern, because the last eight years have been very good years and I have progressed a great deal both personally and professionally and I strongly believe that I owe much of that progress to my time at Good Will-Hinckley.

The reasons that I am leaving are not due to dissatisfaction with leadership, policies or the directions that Good Will-Hinckley is going — it was more “what do I want to be doing when I am 60 years old (10 years from now)?  I don’t plan to retire (again) at 60 and teaching and dealing with teenagers (matching wits) on a daily basis at that age group, is not appealing to me.

I had to make a choice either shift careers now or attempt to in 4-5 years…although there is no age discrimination (legally) in this country – it is simply a fact that older workers have a more difficult time changing jobs/careers as they get older and I didn’t want to fight that battle.

Those are the actual reasons for leaving Good Will-Hinckley – me looking to the future and attempting to make my working conditions different, than working with at risk youth and the supervision issues that go along with that responsibility.

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few people publicly:

Troy – You couldn’t ask for a better PRINCIPAL, you support and protect your people – quietly, effectively and more than they know.  You have allowed me the freedom to try things outside the box to help teach kids who didn’t learn when they were inside the box!

Anna – As a Special Education Director you rock!  You know your stuff, you let me do my job without micro-managing me.  You taught me how to be a better special education teacher and you role-modeled how a patient leader deals with adversity and can come out on top – without yelling and screaming 🙂

Trudy – As the school secretary – I couldn’t do it without you – you saved my butt too many times…and yes I answered those phone calls from you, even though I knew what they were about and I wanted to go the other way on some of “those” days.

Brenda – How long have we known each other and still get along really well.  I hope someone else comes along and calls you OB.  Thank you for all you have done, the help you have given me over the years and listening to me when I needed to vent a little.

Matt – You see things as they are my friend…be honest with yourself and others, but use tact (except around me) it will get you much further  in life – I know I used to be tooooo blunt and it cost me a lot.

Janet – You are a great math teacher and you know how much I hate math, you are a gentle soul that has more “imp” behind those eyes than most would believe.  I will toast you when we taste that Dandelion wine.

Kerry – We have worked so closely with each other in the behavior lab trying different things to motivate and improve the way we interact with the students.  Keep the Jellybean dish full and have chocolate available for the staff on “those” days.  Thank you for everything.

Bill – My brother…enough said.  But the pens were/are a “big” hit.

All the other staff, students and teachers, I will miss the daily interaction that have sustained and kept me younger than my years over the last 8 years.  Thank you one and all…and keep on having fun and take time to smell the roses, before they pass you by.

Remember The Roundel – it is a circle for a reason – no one component should be regarded higher or more necessary than any of the others to make a well-rounded citizen or student at Good Will-Hinckley.  It is when things get out of balance that “interesting” things happen.
An old Coast Guard saying is what I wish for all who have helped me in this journey over the past 8 years.  I wish you seas that are: FACWTTR (Flat Ass Calm with Teeny Tiny Ripples) and nothing but the best for Good Will-Hinckley as an organization.

Harold Shaw, Jr.

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