Somerset Middle School, Modesto

I met an extraordinarily well behaved group of middle schoolers on the 9th of October. From my home in Fresno, it was an easy day trip, but I did a few different things with them and left impressed with their team. I did 2 assemblies and found their assembly norms very effective. Their behavior was respectful, and we had some fun. Next, I spent an hour talking to about 50 leadership students who told me about their hopes for their school. I hope that through students, we can learn that the things they want in school are similar to the adults. More importantly, I want young people to understand that they have the power to make important changes in their school. I would love to go back

Canada . . . The Weekend

I swear I think I'm a wheelchair trailblazer. I hiked a mountain trail in Switzerland, jogged through Paris, went to the top of the Alps, and walked the entire cities of London and New York. I even used my chair to "ski" the snowy parking lot in Racine Wisconsin. Nothing, however, prepared me for the mountain climbing excursion to which I was invited by a group of firefighters in British Columbia. What I thought would be a leisurely stroll around their stunning lake turned into a 5 hour climbing excursion where my partners acted as a Sherpa team pulling me in a special chair equipped for this activity. First, the views from the hilltops of Kelowna rank among some of the best I've ever wi

Thankful to Return to Canada

October found me back in Canada on the spectacular British Columbia island of Kelowna. This picturesque playground was the perfect backdrop for my 3 day journey in to their schools and lives. The first day, I spent a lot of hours at 3 great schools talking to kids. The taxi ran perfectly all day in spite of a challenging time schedule, and I was able to spread the love in multiple venues across the city. It was good for me to see the different communities in the same district. I have a very American perception that our neighbors lack both ethic and economic diversity. I was wrong on both counts and was pleasantly surprised by the distinct personalities in each building. It was Thanksgivin

Corona Middle Schools Representin'

September was a really good month for the How Many Wins story. It ended on a high too as I got to take a systemic view of middle school in the Corona/Norco School District. I got to spend a half day talking through some beliefs that would enable all of the middle schoolers in the district to experience a winning culture. Our time showed me that even though things like mission/vision sometimes get lost, we can still create synergy through teamwork. After my talk, the staff spent some time sharing core values in smaller teams. After discussing and presenting findings from some activities, the teachers across different schools clearly shared common values and normative behaviors that can s

El Dorado Hills

Got off the plane from Canada in Sacramento, California and stopped off at Marina Village Middle School in El Dorado Hills. While Middle School strikes fear in the heart of speakers and educators everywhere, I have awesome memories of teaching and coaching this age group. I have friends today in their 40's who were on my teams and in my classroom from those days. So, I was pleased but not surprised how well this audience treated me. Eight hundred kids on the floor is a risk, but they pulled it off. We had a question/answer session and they handled it with respect and maturity. I hope they continue to see the value in the people they see every day. Good times! It was a minimum day and I

How Many Wins, Eh?

I was pretty excited to board a plane and take the HMW tour to Canada. It is my goal to spread my message of Hope and Love as far as possible, so our neighbors to the north were awesome. I flew into Vancouver and shared a morning with my new friends from Mouat Secondary School from Abbotsford, British Columbia. The setting on the harbor was magical and the teachers were awesome students. Unfortunately, I had to speak and run so I didn't get to hang around much. The culture these teachers have created spoke volumes, though and they were a fun group with whom to hang. I finished and jumped into a van for a 3 hour drive to Manning Park, a beautiful resort in the hills of BC. The drive wa