October 19, 2020
Paul Liabenow is the executive director of the Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association.
MEMSPA celebrates the work, dedication and leadership of Michigan’s principals. COVID-19 has tasked school principals across the country with never-before-seen challenges. I have had the great privilege of hearing stories of our members embracing distance learning platforms and ensuring they are loaded with quality learning resources and motivational videos to encourage student engagement. I have also heard of the principals who have been in-person with their kiddos since day one and have been the rock for the students and staff. No matter where you lead from, know you are doing the work of heroes.
As devastating as COVID-19 has been, it has given our leaders the opportunity to grow in ways we never could have predicted or planned for. You have had to throw out the rule book and plan on the turn of a dime. It is truly amazing. We are in awe of you. Though we know you are all the most tired you have ever been at this point in the year, don't give up. YOU are doing the most important work.
Post COVID-19 K-12 education will make mindfulness, resilience and all of social emotional learning a top priority in every school district across the country. Increased student engagement, achievement and general improvement in quality of life will be the result. Although October is the official month for celebrating you, MEMSPA celebrates you and your leadership every month of the year.
Thank you for leading learning when it matters the most, with both courage and compassion.