Excellence, a Matter of Choice

_96A1272There is something palpably electric about the start of a new school year. Students bounding down gleaming freshly polished hallways that custodians worked through the hottest part of the summer to prepare, and heading into classrooms where teachers have toiled countless hours to create environments that dazzle the eyes and ignite the mind. Principals balancing classes, soothing anxieties and coordinating the implementation of a plethora of schedules that they spent numerous hours weaving together during the summer so that cafeteria workers, yard supervisors, librarians, auxiliary teachers and instructional assistants can come together like a well conducted orchestra to perform one of the greatest works of all… educating children.

As I think about the effort that went into creating a wonderful start to the school year, and contemplate what lies ahead in the upcoming weeks and months for all who are involved in the teaching and learning process, I am reminded of the timeless words of Aristotle, who said:

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance determines your destiny.”

Aristotle’s words, although written so many centuries ago, speak eloquently to the hard work that went into opening school, as well as the focus and mindset that you and your colleagues brought to that work. But they are equally relevant to the task of educating children that will take place over the next 180 days.  Each of you has already shown your “high intention” and commitment to instructional excellence by choosing to participate in the ART of TEACHING or MLC. By becoming a mentor, fellow, or Cotsen principal you actively set yourself on a pathway that can change your destiny as an educator, and the destinies of the boys and girls who will be counting on you this year. What remains to be added to this equation, is the sincere effort and intelligent execution that only a gifted teacher can deliver.

We at Cotsen are honored to partner with you in your pursuit of instructional excellence, and we are looking forward to providing you with professional growth experiences and support that inspire you, and give you tools that help you work magic with your students. On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff we send you our sincerest wishes for the most excellent year ever!


Jerry Harris
Executive Director