The Friday Finish!

Week ending January 27, 2023

Happy Friday, Irvington Family! I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and productive ABBREVIATED week! Going into this edition, I want to thank you for your flexibility and cooperation in making things work as we tinkered with remote instruction and an altered schedule on January 25 and 26! One of the hallmarks that distinguishes ICS from others is the unswerving and complete dedication and devotion to our students and our approaches to teaching and learning. With that, I would like for this edition of the FF to be centered around the concept of the “Growth Mindset.”

There have been occasions where I have been accused by those outside of our school corporation of being delusional and having flights of fancy when I speak and write about the limitless potential I believe exists here in the Irvington Community Schools Corporation. The growth mindset is one where there is a strong belief that with the right skills, tools, working & learning conditions, and support mechanisms in place from home to school, school to home, administration to staff, and staff to administration lending to EVERYONE swimming in the same direction, REMARKABLE RESULTS are the end game and prize!

The growth mindset tells us that WE (the students, the teachers & staff, the community, etc.) can do and accomplish ANY GOAL that we’ve set because our singular and laser-like focus is on the full realization of our potential. In our case, we all decided that our school corporation and our students would receive the VERY BEST EFFORT, SERVICE, AND CARE from the VERY BEST staff available committed to serve them. YOU, dear colleagues, are the most important & influential elements on the lives of our students and, quite frankly, each other, as we spend more than 7 to 9 hours per day with them and each other. We have the awesome responsibility, and similarly, unique HONOR of being able to positive affect and influence the lives of our audience and, in so doing, possibly alter the life trajectory of those with whom we connect!

The GROWTH MINDSET. See it. Believe it. Live it.

It costs absolutely nothing to BELIEVE in our mission. It costs absolutely nothing to ENCOURAGE those with whom you encounter an encouraging and positive word. Words & actions have power. Words & action convey energy. Our students and our colleagues pick up on this energy and it can positively edify, or it can defeat and discourage. The GROWTH MINDSET guarantees that the former and not the latter will prevail!

As we focus our attention and energy into the week ahead, we will welcome the month of February (already)! February is full of instructional, personal, and professional opportunity. Each school is entering the exciting time of Black History Month and the unique instructional, extracurricular, and supplemental opportunities for learning and community outreach that it represents. I am eager to learn about & participate in the wonderful activities that you and your colleagues & students have planned, & I am sure that creativity and positive energy will prevail!

Before I close out and wish you a great weekend, take a moment to reflect on why you entered the field of education. Just like some within our school corporation, I am celebrating 30-plus years of service. I have enjoyed successes, suffered setbacks (or opportunities for growth & learning), and shed a tear or two when a unit or lesson did not go as planned or when my students or student-athletes I coached took “an L” despite our best effort. I see this sort of dedication, determination, & love among you. Your work is not in vain, and your efforts and demonstrable growth mindset is recognized! I SEE YOU!

Have a fabulous weekend! Stay warm, watch/track the weather, and use the time ahead to decompress and get the rest you so richly deserve! In the very near future, you will welcome a new member to the ICS corporate team, as our Board of Governors has approved the hire of our new Chief Operating Officer! I will introduce and highlight more about this individual in the NEXT edition of The Friday Finish!


  • Thank you to Zaira Miller for autographing my copy of her book, The Orangery. My granddaughters are going to LOVE it! If you haven’t copped your copy, I encourage you to get yours today!
  • Shout out to the ICES 3rd grade team of Kimberly Barnes, Jacob Stallard, & April Stout. Why? Their 3rd graders are excelling in the NCAA/ICS/ICES “Readers Become Leaders” initiative! Our young scholars from ICES have advanced in their reading competition over other local 3rd graders:

Mrs. Barnes’ class topped Grassy Creek 210-10!

Mr. Stallard’s class blitzed Lakeside 119-0!

Ms. Stout’s class eclipsed Pleasant Run Elementary 156-53!

This is a win-win for every student and school, as the children are READING, increasing their vocabulary, and increasing their comprehension. The benefit of this endeavor will be felt for years to come!


Upcoming topics for next time:

Vertical Alignment

Formative Assessing

Are we “teaching” or are we “instigators of learning?”

See you soon, and remember… BE, STAY, & FINISH STRONG!