Commentary Looking for model leadership (in Augusta and in Washington) as positive examples for our students October 24, 2016 at 9:03 am Steven W. BaileyIt's October … middle of October … Students are well into their new classes with their new teachers and classmates, routines have been established, the fall sports season is almost over, as is the first grading period. We are well into another school year. Earlier in the month I joined my brother and sister and our spouses to create a 90th birthday celebration for our mom. We planned and held the celebration in the church we all attended growing up in New London, N.H., where she has been a member for 63 years. Many family members and community members came to the celebration and it was a time to remember and commemorate the wonderful woman she has been to our family and the community. The reference to this event is important as the trip took me to a place back in time when we were taught respect, civility, appreciation, and how to think and speak with one another in a polite manner. This all happened through engaged parenting and important connection to our church, school, and community members who had a significant influence on our lives. As I listen to the political campaigns within our state and across the country, I am saddened to see the level to which we have sunk and frightened to think of the future that lies ahead if the direction of the discourse doesn't improve. In our schools, we are concerned with climate and culture that will enhance student achievement, and provide for safe environments within which students can learn effectively and where staff can work collaboratively. We are asked to teach and expect students to learn the Maine Learning Results (standards) and the Guiding Principles of: clear and effective communicator, self-directed and lifelong learner, creative and practical problem-solver, responsible and involved citizen, and integrative and informed thinker. We expect this of students ages 5-18. The goal is to develop adults who can model these principles to others. This is where model leadership is needed. We often say we need to lead by example … “do as I say, AND as I do.” Positive, proactive delivery of messages that teach and model respect, that engage school staff, students, community, and residents within meaningful dialogue of how we interact with each other is one of our important tasks within the school (and in the community). To assure all staff have training to protect others and to create a climate and culture of respect and safety, all staff within all schools have sexual harassment awareness training. There is additional training on identifying and responding to bullying (required by law). These are safety sessions provided in each of our schools. If harassment is detected, observed, or experienced, there is an affirmative action officer where the incident gets reported so that it can be investigated, explored, and addressed. It is not allowed to continue. We do this proactively within the schools, providing leadership while promoting the example of “do as I say, AND as I do.” We are modeling by example. We know we can make a difference by leading positively and being a voice that models civility, respect, and acceptance of diversity. We are looking for this same kind of leadership at the state and national levels. These leaders (and want-to-be leaders) should be setting the positive example for us that we expect, while remembering some of the models of respect, civility, politeness, and appropriateness of language that we learned in times past within our churches, schools, and communities. Our children deserve better if we expect for them to experience a more civil and safe future. (Steven W. Bailey is the superintendent of schools for AOS 93, which includes the towns of Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Jefferson, Newcastle, Nobleboro, and South Bristol.)You have reached content that is intended only for subscribers to The Lincoln County News. If you are a subscriber, login here. Need a subscription? Subscribe now! Related StoriesCrafts Leads with Moral ResponsibilityEthics 101Message from Nobleboro School BoardVote for SandieCrafts Would Serve All of Us Well Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditMorePrint To stay informed on local happenings, sign up for our newsletter!