Dr. Ken Eastwood Episode #32

By Andrew Marotta

#ELB Education Leadership & Beyond is a high energy, leader-based podcast that shares ideas, thoughts, and tips about becoming a better leader in all areas not just education. Andrew has on guests from a wide range of fields including education, public speaking, gov’t, medical, etc just to name a few. Tune in live on voicEd radio, facebook, ITunes, and on the socials. Andrew laughs, cries, shares, and obviously talks with his guests about education, life, leadership and being your best self. If you want to be a better leader, this podcast is for you!

Thursday, January 18, 2018…
Blog # 32–Man it’s cold out there! w/ my guest Superintendent of Schools in Middletown, NY Dr. Ken Eastwood.
Education Leadership and Beyond: Surviving & Thriving with Andrew Marotta

Podcast #32 – aired Saturday 1/13/18…
9am live or on the app anytime country 107.7 WDLC, 106.9 WYNC, Wall Radio, & Pocono 96.7.

It was freezing out the past couple of weeks in NE Pennsylvania and the hudson valley in NY. So cold, that my hot water heater went then the basement gas stove as well. The basement temps were in the high 20’s–NOT good. Then co-director of Team Marotta, Mrs. Marotta, got the flu and was not only cold, but out of commision. It was so cold in the basement, the tubes (not pipes but flex tubing) began to freeze. Not only did we not have hot water, we were losing all water. I had a minor situation on my hands that I needed to get under control. As a high school Principal, I’ve dealt with many situations that needed immediate and swift attention-this was one of those. I took a moment to assess all that was happening with the house and the cold and then went to action–scheduled a plumber, ordered a new hot water heater, got the gas company to replenish, spent some time on youtube to get the gas stove re-lit and running, and made sure the Mrs. had what she needed–all the while taking care of my 3 angels–Claire, Matthew, and Tessa. It was a busy and stressful time….& we made it through. As I prepared for this show, I scrapped my plan I had and told this story:

As leaders, we are constantly faced with crisis situations. This was not a major crisis and it could have been worse….and it turned out ok. In reflecting and preparing for the show, I jotted down some thoughts about crisis situations and techniques to handle them as best you can…simple and useful, put them into practice next time (and there will always be a next time) you are faced with a situation:

#1: Stay Calm.
#2: Stay Positive…no whoa is me attitude.
#3: Analyze & prioritize…what exactly is happening and what needs to be done first.
#4: Begin with the end in mind…Habit 2 of Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people…Where are you trying to get to?
#5: Make an action plan.
#6: Check with the kitchen cabinet: you team of trusted friends, relatives, and colleagues that you can rely on.
#7: Communicate, communicate, communicate.

This week, I had a great opportunity to learn from and speak to Dr. Ken Eastwood, Superintendent of Middletown schools. Dr. Eastwood is retiring this January 2018 and shared great perspective and stories from his time at Middletown. He talked about walking into the crisis situation of a former Sup who was convicted of a youth sex offense as well as a grad rate in the 50’s. He also talked about his vision of creating equal opportunities for all students…regardless of racial or financial makeup: free college classes for all students, access to technology music, the arts, and sports for all, free lunch, and more for the students. Middletown is on the map as a leader in many areas thanks to the leadership of Dr. Eastwood.

Next week’s guest is Port Jervis HS science teacher Paddy McCarthy

Go out and change the world for the better.