Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I have the distinct honor and pleasure of working with a great staff.  I also work with great students and a supportive community, but there is another time for a blog about them.  This blog is all about the staff at Merton Intermediate School, my second family, my Merton family.
Over the last year or so, many changes have come to our little school in Merton, Wisconsin.  Actually, there are too many changes to even mention.  Through all of these changes, I have seen nothing but the highest degree of professionalism from the staff.  If there are topics that need to be discussed, we discuss them face to face in small groups or individually.  Never have we discussed these topics in front of our students.  These topics are handled like a family.
As with any family, there is a hierarchy and I guess, based on my current position as the principal, that kind of makes me the father.  Being the father means that I ultimately make the final decision on current topics.  I gather as much input as I can, from as many people as I can, and then make the best decision possible.  Above all, decisions are made based upon the best interest of our students.  But sometimes the best decisions don't work out as well as we had planned.  At these times we meet again to discuss and determine a different plan.
On Monday night I was involved in #vachat (chat for teachers in Virginia even though I live in Wisconsin) about school climate and culture.  I saw a tweet from @philgriffins, an AP in Virginia, that said "reason why I start all of my emails Norge Family".  After thinking about the tweet, I realized that I have another family, my Merton family, that I actually spend more waking hours with than my "real family".  My Merton family has gone through many highs and lows but we always know that we can count on one another.
This morning my Merton family had a brief meeting with math as our topic.  As the staff was coming in, I was playing this video about perseverance.  It is our main math topic, but it also describes the great people I work with who are all a part of my Merton family.  My wife, bless her heart, made some great pumpkin cookies for us this morning.  She knows how much the Merton family is a part of me, and it's growing on her, too.
May you all find the joy of family outside of school and within your school.