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President's Message: Administrators live a life of service to children Print E-mail

jerry-colonnaby Jerry Colonna

Welcome to the start of a new school year, COSA members!

In my welcome back to you I want to reflect on why each of us should even consider being a school administrator for yet another year.  I offer the following thoughts:

There is a broad-based commitment across the United States to support and improve all phases of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education.  I believe that it is the most exciting, rewarding, and challenging time ever to be in education administration.  Each workday we are given numerous opportunities to make decisions that will positively affect children and young adults.  This is a powerful way to not only help individual students, but it also provides for the enhanced future of the communities we serve.

From 39 years of teaching and administrative experience, through some profound personal tragedies, to a special interest in studying the lives of renown humanitarians such as Mother Theresa, Leo Tolstoy, and Albert Schweitzer; I have learned that the greatest rewards this life can give come from simply doing good things for other people on an every day basis.  It is also true, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Those who are reaching for happiness forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek it for others."  Administrators have jobs that allow them to live a life of service through broadening the potential of this country's greatest asset, its children.  Former Secretary of Education, Rodney Paige called it, "God's work here on earth."

Effective administrators constantly communicate the benefits of access to education, encourage citizen involvement in schools, reach out to those in need, and invest intellectual resources in their communities on a daily basis; it is our professional obligation.  As I heard Ozzie Rose say many times, "Each time a COSA member misses an opportunity to advocate for quality schools, children lose and so does the State of Oregon."  Promoting the sustainable development of excellent education leads to improvement in the quality of democracy in our country from one generation to the next.  Former Governor of Oregon, Tom McCall, voiced the responsibilities all of us have who are in leadership roles when he said, "Heroes are not giant statues framed against the sky.  They are people who say this is my community and it's my responsibility to make it better."

We are in the position to help solve the twin problems of unequal access to quality education and the injustice of underfunded schools.  I am proud that I have the opportunity to help make my small part of the planet a better place to live though my service to public schools.  Bob Chase, former President of the N.E.A., said, "This is our high-stakes test and we dare not flunk it."

It is a professional privilege to serve as your President of COSA for the 2006-2007 school year.  

I wish you the best year ever in our honorable profession.

This page was last updated on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 .