It is truly amazing how a change in scenery can change a person’s entire outlook on life, personally and professionally. After spending my entire professional education career (almost 15 years) in one school district as a middle school educator, I began contemplating retirement a few years ago. That all changed recently when I began my tenure with Pike Township. To say that I’m rejuvenated and re-energized is an understatement.
I am fully aware that my “career” in education was not actually a full career, but after four of five years of soul searching, I decided to call it quits. I had decided to pursue other endeavors, writing books full time, television, public speaking, or politics – just something different. And then I got a call from the superintendent’s office of my current school district. As luck, or fate – whichever you prefer – would have it, they were in need of another high school U.S. History and Government teacher. After a few conversations with the superintendent and others in the district, I was sold. I had found a new education home.
What Pike Township School Superintendent Nate Jones has done for me is what he has done for so many others. He not only inspired, encouraged, and believed in me, he also challenged me. He challenged me to re-commit myself back to my chosen career field. He challenged me to return to school and earn my administrator’s license. He challenged me to be a role model, to be a mentor, to be a motivator, to be an inspirational educator to our young people. And to be all of these things to the so many young boys and girls who look like me, who look just like my son and daughter.
He wanted me to do for them as he had done for me. Now that I have returned back to school once again, in pursuit of my administrator’s license, I have been reinvigorated, and entrusted with a new vision and a new assignment.
With the number of African-American male educators in the state of Indiana being under one-percent, the new mission is to prod, encourage, coerce, and force young African-American, Latino, and Hispanic boys into the field of education. Sure I know, sitting behind those desks in the many public school classrooms across the state, our job does not look too attractive, appealing nor glamorous.
With low-income and minority young teenage boys making up the highest drop-out, suspension and expulsion rates, along with the lowest test scores and graduation rates across the state, it is time to declare war on this long standing trend and bring it to an abrupt halt. We have done this in Pike Township and can model this same commitment to make a similar change throughout the state of Indiana.
I ask you to join me on the frontlines and in the trenches as I set out to transform these young men and steer them down a road that leads to the field of education, so they too can be the lightening rod for inspiration and change…as one educator was for me.
For more information, call Leroy Robinson at (317) 502-0272 or email email@example.com.