Recently I started reading Seth Godin’s blog. If his name isn’t familiar, Seth Godin is a successful entrepreneur and former dot.com executive who found great success writing and speaking about marketing in the digital age. A recent post was called The Drip, and despite its title, made me think of of Epstein Hillel School.
Seth wrote, “Change, real change, is the result of focused persistence. It’s easy to get a bunch of people excited for a short while. The challenging part, and the reason that change doesn’t happen as often as it should, is that we get distracted…There are very few overnight successes. Very few entrepreneurs, freelancers, non-profits, candidates, spiritual leaders, activists or people in a successful relationship that got there with thunder and lighting. It happens with a drip”.
In January 2015, I signed a contract to be Head of School at Cohen Hillel Academy. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, I found myself in Boca Raton in February visiting Arthur Epstein and several other CHA trustees for the first of many opportunities to introduce myself and my vision for the school – drip. That spring was filled with individual meetings with faculty and staff members to hear their perspectives and start building relationships and trust – drip.
2015-2016: we changed our logo, updated attributes to describe a CHA education, upgraded all the technology in our building (computers/ipads/wiring/network), implemented new curricula in lower and middle school, and brought back school traditions like the upcoming Chanukah concert – drip, drip, drip.
2016-2017: we welcomed 15 new kindergarten families, came together to create an amazing community mosaic that now adorns our building, introduced the Seeche Cultural Arts Initiative, embarked on a year long Shinshinim commitment, and were the incredibly grateful recipients of Arthur’s enormously generous gift – drip, drip, drip.
2017-2018: we renamed the school with a 300+ person dedication event, again welcomed 15 new kindergarten families, hosted Israeli artist Hanoch Piven in residence, were accepted to be an iNfuse Israel school, launched plans for a bold new STEM innovation center, held a very successful Winter Benefete that brought our community together, and…drip, drip, drip – this story is still being written.
Focused persistence, grit, resilience – call it what you will, but when you work hard, stay focused, and are passionate about what you do, you affect change and achieve great things. As we celebrate Chanukah, we are reminded that the Maccabees worked and fought for their religious freedom. Maccabee means hammer – the relentless pounding – not really so different from the persistent dripping that is needed to make a difference and to be successful.
Wishing you Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!