Friday, August 31, 2007

Authority Figures...Why Would People Choose This Profession?

To the left is the mugshot of a principal from my old junior high school. Click here to read why he posed for a mugshot...or, if you're lazy (like me), read the excerpt from the article posted below:

The former principal of Washington Junior High School was arrested Tuesday and charged with 11 felony counts linked to alleged financial impropriety.

Montgomery Davis, 42, of Washington, is charged with one count of second-degree theft and 10 counts of felony misconduct in office. Each charge is a Class D felony that can bring up to five years in prison and a $7,500 fine. Davis made his first appearance in Washington County District Court Tuesday and was released after posting $500 on a $5,000 bond.
Yep...between 2003 and 2006 is when this occurred. Falsified reimbursement requests and purchase orders were the vessels delivering the bucks to the principal. (Sounds like a loan payment, doesn't it?)

Nobody really knows why he did it...I'm sure theories are floating around, as they often do in small towns. Davis resigned after being suspended from duty, citing personal reasons for the decision.

You know, I never knew the guy. I know Davis was a basketball coach & teacher before the promotion to administrative big-kahuna guy, and I had heard rumors of another scandal about his improprieties.

I'd also heard he was going through a divorce.

I'd heard a lot of things. That's what happens when you're in a small town (or connected with one because your family's still there) "hear things", and you have to find the truth for yourself.

So I'm comparing him with my friend Brian. He's the handsome devil in the pic on the left. You can click on the title link to go to his website, but one entry sticks out in particular this week. Click here to read the entry in full. The synopsis of the situation is that he's had to deal with kids who are making bad decisions now...bad decisions that will impact their future. One paragraph stood out in particular to me, and I'm begging forgiveness on this Bri...I am excerpting this.

Creating a vision of the future and tying it to present day actions is a major challenge in schools and in the home. How do you create that connection between what happens today and what happens in the future? How do you make someone understand that what feels good right now will lead you down a path to ruination? You relate your own mistakes, those of others, and try to say, “you don’t have to do this.” You are young and the world is there for you to seize.

How do you make them see?

Brian has a tough job, being a principal. He has to deal with so many things...budgets, kids, teachers, and conflicts with all of these things in all kinds of scenarios. He's dealing with how to keep the smart kids encouraged, how to keep the truants in school, and how to deal with the kids in the middle who could get lost in the shuffle. I can see how the occupation of principal can just drive you to snap at a moment's notice...I wouldn't want it!

But from reading his blog entries, he does his best to maintain integrity. He's got his share of issues and problems...he's got two kids of his own (one special needs), he's pursuing an advanced degree, and he's in a relationship of his own as well. He's in a new position after years of working at one school, and he wants to make a difference. He cares about the kids, the teachers, and doing his part to deliver quality education to everyone.

What I want to know is...did Mr. Davis start out being like Brian? What changed Davis' path to felonious means? Did he have addictions and therefore need to "feed the monkey"? Was he trying to maintain a standard of living that was beyond his means? What was going on inside his head when Davis started doing what he was doing?

I don't think this kind of thing would ever happen to Brian.

He's one of those people in the blogosphere that everyone seems to like. He's supportive of his fellow bloggers. He visits everyone he can. He's not afraid to write about his challenges at work and at home. Furthermore, he's not afraid to admit his mistakes. He's not a goody-two-shoes either. He's a real person, with lots to contribute in this world.

I admire him very much, and if you look on my blogroll, I list him as "the principal I wish I had".
I'd probably get detention on purpose just to hang out with him, he's that cool.

Props to you, my dear deserve it. If you're a regular reader of mine and NOT a regular reader of his, you need to be. Go take a look at his blog...please?