The district’s teachers, staff and administrators – joined by Board of Education trustees Paul Austin and Matthew Clareen – flocked to the high school auditorium on March 18 for an exciting Superintendent’s Conference Day interactive assembly with motivational speaker Gary McGuey, author of “The Inspirational Teacher” and “The Mentor: Leadership Trumps Bullying.” McGuey, a former athletic director and educator and one of the most in-demand educational speakers in the nation, provided the attendees with engaging personal and professional development as well as enhanced principle-centered leadership skills.
“Today we are coming together to be introduced to ideas and concepts that will not only help our students, but give each of us insight into ourselves,” said Dr. Christopher Smalley, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, introducing McGuey. “We know that academics are important, and if our students are not prepared to succeed in a college or career, they will struggle. But we also know that if our students are not prepared to deal with adversity or all the soft skills necessary in life, they will struggle even more. Our students now deal with an incredible bombardment of digital information, busy schedules and the constant pressure to succeed. The good news for our students is that they are in Islip, and we all care.”
McGuey delved deeply into the ideas behind “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” explained the three types of power – positional, utilitarian and principle-centered leadership – and demonstrated the path from dependence to independence and finally to interdependence.
“The only person we change is ourselves,” McGuey said. “We can influence people, and that’s what leadership is. People follow our footsteps much quicker than our advice. Everybody in this room can think of that influence or role model, that person in our lives we’ll never forget. For some of us, that person is no longer alive, but they still have power over us because of the way they led their lives based on words like integrity, hard work, love, service and responsibility.”