Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many blog posts spotlighting what’s happening and what makes us tick at Eagle Rock. If we haven’t met yet, allow me to introduce myself… my name is Jeff Liddle and I’m the Head of School here at Eagle Rock. In short, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for inheriting such a great position and share what you can expect from me by way of future blog posts.
First off, I say “inherit” because I’ve stepped into a job that already features a highly dedicated staff, an amazing organization that is well supported by you — our stakeholders — and an established educational edifice that has a nationwide reputation for accomplishing what many often feel is out of reach… educational reform at both the micro and macro levels.
Most importantly, I’ve inherited a position within an organization that has clarity in its mission. All that’s left for me to do is peek a little closer into the corners to see where we can become even better at what we do. And what we do best as a school is re-engage our students in meaningful education, and through the work of Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center, provide facilitative services to high schools who are similarly re-engaging youth. I’ve acquired a visionary project that is already well tuned, borne out of Honda’s commitment to contributing to society.
I find myself following in the footsteps of a founding Head of School — Robert Burkhardt — who was intimately involved in every aspect of this institution and never wavered for a moment from his No. 1 commitment — students. As a result of his efforts, I now lead a school that was most recently recognized as one of only 24 National Schools of Character by theCharacter Education Partnership. As a result, we’re well positioned for the next stage in our development.
I see our immediate focus during the early stages of my tenure as one of recognizing where we fall in the continuum of organizational maturity, and then leading accordingly. Instead of pursuing the status quo or resting on our laurels, I see us revisiting the core aspects of our organization. And by revisiting, I mean making slight innovations when necessary in regard to our vision, our mission, our PDC services, and the basic structure of our educational community.
And it could be that during these second — or third, or fourth — inspections of our organization, we may find a need for major alterations in our game plan. “What can we do to make this aspect of our program better?” Introspection is a healthy thing, but without action it has no value.
Change is necessary and sometimes it is accompanied by discomfort or growing pains. But discomfort is good and when in pursuit of excellence, it is extremely healthy. It creates the potential for new patterns of interaction and that quite frankly drives us toward excellence.
My predecessors had a vision for an innovative approach to learning back in 1993 and they put it into action with all of the excitement, participation and planning such a unique undertaking requires. Two decades later, we remain at the peak, with most functions running smoothly, which is pretty much the description of a well-oiled machine.
Now what’s required is to ensure that we remain viable in a world that is constantly changing. And that will require the same enthusiasm, energy, courage, and creativity that got us here in the first place.
And speaking of tomorrow, in about seven to 10 tomorrows from today, I’ll be back with a new blog post updating you and the rest of the Eagle Rock community on what the Eagle Rock leadership team and I are doing specifically to continue the legacy we’ve been granted.
To that end, I can’t wait for tomorrow because we get better looking every day. In the meantime, I invite you to leave a comment sharing what you hope to hear from me as the head of school.
Thanks Jeff for the reminder, change can be uncomfortable but extremely healthy when in pursuit of excellence.
Great blog post, Jeff! I’m so excited to learn from you and stay up-to-date on ERS through your upcoming blog posts.
Jeff, thank you for taking on this great opportunity to teach, and share all you can to the Eagle Rock family.