Dear SKS Families,

Terra Nova Standardized Tests

The end of March is upon us, with Terra Nova tests just about complete. We usually get those results in late May before the end of the school year. You will get a copy of your child’s results in the mail.  I told the students the TN test is just one piece of a student’s academic profile. It has its place, in that it can point out an individual’s and school’s strengths and areas of growth in particular areas. However, I prefer to evaluate a student’s  performance on a trimester report card that shows three months of daily effort, hard work, perseverance and consistency, rather than a week’s worth of tests. In real life, your children will have to take tests like the college boards, a bar exam, or a test for a professional license. It is part of the real world, along with their daily performance in the workplace. They need to be prepared for both.

SKS Alumni make us proud

Three SKS alumni at Archbishop Carroll High School have distinguished themselves by being named Archdiocesan Scholars. This is an honor that allows these  students to qualify for taking college courses at local universities such as Cabrini and Villanova and receive college credit.   Congratulations to Bella Grube, Kadi Dekovitch, Megan Curry. This is a tremendous accomplishment and we congratulate these alumni and their families. We are very proud of them.

Student Sticky Notes Answers to the Question of the Week:

What’s a mistake you have made and what have you learned from it?

–  Never sleep with a cat that has long claws

– Try not to fight with your siblings.

– Don’t lie.

– Learn to let things go.

– Enjoy life.

– Not to goof off in class.

– Let family and friends have some space when they need it.

– Know who you can trust.

– Don’t judge people too quickly. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

– Stop being negative all the time, it is not a good way to look at things.

– Be yourself.


A Good Read

Here’s a recommendation for anyone looking for a quick read to motivate yourself, your family, or your place of work. Several faculty members and I attended a workshop three weeks ago based on this book, The Energy Bus, by Jon Gordon,  well-known author of several books. Below is a summary of the book. in which there are great lessons for your children (and ourselves):

What I Learned From The Energy Bus?

Neil November 6, 2012 Book ReportsLeadership

I recently read The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. I’m not going to summarize the book, but I will give you a flavor of the book by telling you what I learned from it.

Here is the basic premise:  The book is written as a parable, from the perspective of a middle manager (George) who is leading a team heading nowhere. Through a series of events he ends up riding a city bus with a positive motivation guru at the helm and a group of “energy” converts in the seats. Over two weeks George rides the bus he learns one of 10 lessons designed to help a leader transform a team by creating a positive vision and culture of energy. Through the lessons George is able to save his job and his marriage.

Here are a few of the lessons from the bus and what I learned from it.

  • Rule #1 – “You’re the driver of your bus” – It’s all about personal responsibility. We are each responsible for the direction of our lives. And the direction of our lives is shaped by each day, each thought. If we are complacent in our lives we let others drive for us. Have you ever felt out of control? Well, it’s time to take charge and drive your own bus. In my experience, the realization that my efforts now can reap big rewards in the future are very empowering.
  • Rule #2 – “Desire, Vision, and Focus Move Your Bus in the Right Direction”– You have to want it! You have to have a vision, have a compelling reason to keep you moving and the focus to keep to it. Each action must be in the direction of your goal and you must have the persistence to overcome the obstacles that can easily get you off track.
  • Rule #3 – “Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy”– Positive energy is the fuel that allows you to overcome the obstacles. Positive energy is high octane fuel and negative energy is gas from the bottom of last years can. Positive energy builds momentum and a negative attitude seems to find roadblocks and excuses.
  • Rule #4 – “Invite People on Your Bus and Share Your Vision for the Road Ahead”– Associating with people who push you forward is one of the smartest things you can do. You are either moving forward or moving back. If the people you work with or associate with are stagnant, then you need to break free. If you don’t you’re wearing an invisible rubber belt, eventually you will snap back to the pack and lose your momentum. Having negative, going nowhere friends is like having a weekly weight watchers meeting at The Country Buffet.


  • Rule #7 – “Enthusiasm Attracts More Passengers and Energizes Them During the Ride”– People want to associate with a winner. In professional and college sports it seems that the same teams are at or near the top year after year. Players recognize a good culture and want to be a part of it. The same can be said of work teams and companies. It’s not all about the money.


  • Rule #8 – “Love Your Passengers”– You can’t fake it. In order to lead people or attract people to your cause you have to care for them. And not in an ambivalent way. You must really be tied to the well-being of your team. Love cannot be selfish. As a leader you must want the best for your team members. Back to sports: time and time again you see a team of superior athletes being beat by a true team made up of individuals who would do anything for their team and teammates. The trick is to cultivate that love.


  • Rule #10 – “Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride”– When work is fun you don’t get tired. Do you ever remember getting tired when you were playing as a kid? I don’t either. It never even came to mind. The same is true when you are energized by doing work that matters with people you like.


Jon Gordon has several books out. Another book is entitled The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to be a Better Teammate.   It is a very compelling story about a college lacrosse player and the impact his life has had and still has on others. I just got the book and am excited to read it.


C’mon Spring! Need some Vitamin D !

Take care,