It’s just a key chain. Given to me years ago by someone in our LCC Parent Foundation, bronze and black, the size of a half dollar, with the familiar cow head logo surrounded by the phrase “MAVS 4 LIFE,” it hangs on the bulletin board above my computer and reminds me that wherever I go the experiences I’ve had at La Costa Canyon High School travel with me.
I’ve been looking at the key chain this morning with a bit more emotion, because this June I’ll end my half decade as an administrator at LCC and start a new adventure as principal of Diegueño Middle School. I’m excited about the opportunity, but even as I plan, get to know new people, and prepare for the transition, I find the perspective I bring to the enterprise is that of a maverick.
Being at LCC has taught me much, almost all of it the result of honest and real connections to the students, teachers, parents, and staff that make up our Maverick Family. I’ve been blessed to work shoulder to shoulder with teachers I admire, parents who care, and students whose youthful exuberance knows no bounds.
I’ve been inspired by the power of kindness I’ve seen, most recently with students volunteering to help when LCC was made a Red Cross Shelter for those displaced by wildfires, and throughout my time at LCC in both big ways and small. I’ve been proud to work at a school with a strong Best Buddies program, a vibrant GSA, and a stable of clubs that do work that makes a difference. I’ve found joy in watching our ASB students create events simply to inspire fun and connections between people at the school, and seen teachers echo that sentiment as they build activities to help build community at LCC.
LCC has been my home, a place that has challenged and renewed me. Education can be a rough and tumble world sometimes; we’re in the business of being human after all. And more than once I’ve been presented situations whose solutions were beyond what I could manage alone. The student in crisis, the emergency on campus, the challenge of a miscommunication in need of sorting out. Over and over again in these times the team of professionals around me stepped in to find a way to make things right. I’m convinced that LCC is as strong as its people working together. And that’s strong.
I’m faced now with the emotional challenge of saying goodbye to this school family I’ve grown so close to, and as much as I look forward to starting at Diegueño, I know that before I step onto that new campus I’m first going face to face with one last challenge: Goodbye.
I’m like a senior on the brink of graduation, but with the knowledge of what it is to be an alumnus, and the understanding of how precious the time is I have left at LCC. This is my last LCC prom, my last band concert, my last MAV Awards. I know myself well enough to know that I’ll get emotional on the Senior Boat Dance. And even more, I know that the memories of all of this, the memories of the people I work with, the Maverick Family I’ve been a part of, are quite simply a defining part of who I am both professionally and personally.
Truth be told, MAVS 4 LIFE is more than a key chain; LCC is a state of mind.