Happy Thanksgiving!


I am thankful for…

  1. My wife and son. Thank you for loving me and working hard to support me as I devote many, many hours each week to being a principal and a doctoral student. Thank you for patiently enduring my extended absences, crazy hours, and momentary lapses of reason. This has been a very special time in my life and that is because of you two!
  2. My job as a principal. Sure, it has it’s moments of frustration, but 90% of the time it’s challenging, fun, and very fulfilling. I look forward to my work every day! Well, okay… I look forward to my work almost every day.  🙂
  3. My faculty & staff. They are a huge reason that I love my job. Thank you for the hard work, endless hours, and patience with my failures. Thank you so much for respecting me as I lead the team and also for your collegiality and allowing me to be part of the team. Most of all, thank you for embracing our vision to be great and for providing the best education possible for our students!
  4. My confidants, my sounding boards, and my go-to guys/gals. You know who you are… Thank you for being there. There is no way I’d make it through each day without you!
  5. My support staff. From the front office to the leadership team to the behind-the-scenes team members… Your jobs are thankless and yet the school can’t run without you. So thank you for all that you do! You are all awesome!
  6. My students. Thank you for being the most awesome student body ever! Thank you for your hard work, kindness to each other, and commitment to be lifelong learners and honorable leaders. Thank you to each of you who says “Hi, Mr. Ail” when I’m in the halls. Thank you to the leaders out there who keep striving to develop and achieve a better future (and a better “now”) for SkyView High School. Thank you for taking the time to chat and for trusting me with your ideas and concerns.
  7. My families. Thank you for simply waving to me during car line. Thank you for the words of encouragement and the occasional notes to share your appreciation. Thank you for getting our students to school on time, for helping them with their homework, and for supporting them in their education. Thank you for the cups of coffee and for the pumpkin muffin that I found outside my office a few weeks ago.  🙂

I am so very thankful for this community! Best wishes to all of my staff, students, and families for a blessed and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday.




For the safety of our students…, part 2


Ahhh… remember the good old days when this is what the before-school and after-school car line looked like? If only it were still that simple…and safe.

A couple of weeks ago as I was walking along the west side of the school during car line, I observed a student walking along the side of the building toward her parents’ vehicle. There was maybe 3 feet of space between the car line and the building, and I noticed that the student was on her phone. Several of our drivers were also on their phones, and one of them was not paying attention and began inadvertently drifting toward the building. One of our students was almost “squished” between a car and our building! Initially, I was upset with the students and parents who demonstrate the inability to manage their cell phone usage–especially in the after-school traffic and especially since we have asked repeatedly that drivers not use their cell phones on school property. I kept wondering: “Is this what it must come to–that one of our students must break a leg or lose a leg (or worse) in traffic before people will listen?”


But then it began to dawn on me that this was my fault. It is quite obvious that there is limited space between the building and the the car line, and there is no walkway along the side of the building. Common sense dictates that we should not allow students to be entering traffic–it is just not safe!

Consequently, for the safety of our students, we are now keeping students on the curb and not allowing them to walk into traffic past the railing. I apologize for not recognizing this as a safety concern much sooner, for it has led to the development of some bad habits. Please help our children to break this habit by reminding them that they should never step out into traffic. As an added safety measure, we will be assigning detention to students who do choose to leave the curb and walk along the building.

Also, please remind your children that they should not approach a moving vehicle. They should only approach your vehicle and open the door after you have come to a complete stop. And remember: you should only come to a complete stop when the the traffic ahead of you stops–always pull forward as much as possible. Your stopping point will be determined by the overall flow of traffic, not the location of your student on the sidewalk. When the traffic has stopped and all of the cars are pulled forward, students may then locate and enter their parents’ vehicles.

Statistically, vehicle accidents happen close to work/home and especially during the afternoon commute. So after-school traffic is a critical time to ensure students’ safety. Please, please help us to make our traffic as safe as possible for all of our students. Thank you!